1101 Kenyon St NW, Washington, DC | Directions 2001038.929851 -77.027931
Neighborhoods: Pleasant Plains, Northwest Washington, Northwest
Don't Use Your Credit Card – I had the worst experience at Wonderland Ballroom.
The issue: my credit card was charged almost $70 more than what I authorized, the manager was rude and unhelpful, and refused to refund the difference.
How it happened: this was my first time there (4/22) and my coworkers and I split the check. Two of us paid by credit card and were "authorized" for the remaining balance on the check. We inquired about this and were told, in a very condescending manner, that this is policy, but they don't charge more than what we write in the total. To make matters worst, I when we noticed the amount was higher for this check than the check that we thought we were paying on, we were told point blank "everyone has to pay taxes, we all know that now don't we." Then, when speaking to the server about how he didn't inform us of the additional taxes, which the table should be sharing, or informing the "policy" before charging out cards, he kept rubbing my back and calling me "sister" (we are both black). What the world? Who does that? Anyways, we took pictures of our signed checks noting, again, how much should be charged to each.
Cut to yesterday (4/26) when I see that the payment has posted to my account the night before (4/25). The amount is $67 dollars more than I authorized, in addition, it is about $25 more than the check itself. In no way, even if they mistaken thought that the total price written on my receipt was supposed to a tip (which was clearly zeroed out on the tip line - gratuity was included on the full check), should the amount charged and posted be on my statement. It was like they just put whatever number they felt like on my credit card. I called to Wonderland and let a message that morning. When I didn't hear back hours later, I called again before the bar was set to open. I spoke to the manager who told me, verbatim, that "there is nothing we can do about this now. You would have to deal with your bank. We don't issue refund and charges, in my years of experience, don't post on Monday evenings for a Friday transaction. It usually take 3 business days. If I wait three more days, it would probably drop off." When I tried to inform her that my bank processed the charge already and it really is posted, she kept telling me that it was pending because charged don't work that way. How I interpreted that is that she is calling me a liar. When I tried to tell her that I can print out the statement and bring it to her, she told me to be quiet, she is not done talking, and she is trying to save me the "serious and long process of filing a claim with my bank." I then told her she is done talking about this same thing over and over again when I have tangible evidence showing that I was severely overcharged. She yelled at me that she was trying to help me out and that I obviously don't want it and then she hung up on me. When I called back to try to get the owner of Wonderland's information, no one answered and no one has yet to call me back.
Needless to say, I WILL NOT be a returning customer at Wonderland. I am angry and frustrated with the lack of customer service. At no point during this process, from dealing with the server to the manager, did I receive an apology for their obvious errors. Clearly service here is defined by management, or lack of management skills. I did filed a fraud claim with my bank, but only for the difference between what I was supposed to pay and what was charged. I didn't want a free meal, I just wanted to pay my fair share and give them an opportunity to fix it. Instead, I got nothing but a 'screw you' response. So my advice, besides don't frequent Wonderland Ballroom, is if you go, you won't see me, but make sure you bring enough cash!
Citysearch Editorial Review – The Wonderland Ballroom in Columbia Heights is a neighborhood hot spot that offers as much fun on week nights in its bohemian beer garden and vintage sign-bedecked indoor bar as it does on weekends in its always-packed, second-level dance floor. Owned by Columbia Heights locals Matthew McGovern and Rose Donna, Wonderland maintains a good beer selection with standard and interesting seasonal offerings--a sampling includes Lancaster's Milk Stout and Strawberry Wheat, Paulaner, Leffe Brown, Yuengling and Hoegaarden. It's also a great place to strike up conversation: Encounters at Wonderland have produced at least five marriages according to the Express. That's a record for a neighborhood institution that's only been around since 2004.
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