Guest shocked by hotel's 'insane’ $72 fridge fee

It’s common knowledge that unless you want to be hit with a huge bill at check-out, you avoid a hotel room’s mini bar at all costs.

But while a packet of Peanut M&Ms or tube of Pringles could set you back significantly more than during a Woolies shop, just opening the fridge door could cost you big bucks at a “swanky” hotel in the US.

“It will cost an extra US$50 [AU$72] to use the fridge in my hotel suite,” one person wrote online, sharing an image of the offending mini bar at the Marriott in South Florida. On the front was a sign that warned guests what would happen if they opened the door.

The sign on the 'refreshment center' warned that guests would be charged AU$72 for using it for personal use. Source: Reddit
The sign on the 'refreshment center' warned that guests would be charged AU$72 for using it for personal use. Source: Reddit

“The refreshment center is on a sensor,” the message read. “Use of the refreshment center food personal storage will automatically incur a US$50 [AU$72] charge. Please dial 6820 for refrigerator requests.”

‘You’ve got to be joking’

Since it was posted to Reddit, the image has gone viral, racking up more than 26,000 reactions and 1,900 comments.

Responding to one user, the original poster confirmed that the photo was taken at “a swanky Marriott hotel.”

This content is not available due to your privacy preferences.
Update your settings here to see it.

“I’m honestly too scared to even open up the fridge,” they said. “I don’t want to risk the fee or having to dispute it.”

Redditers were quick to share their disgust.

The Reddit poster revealed that they had been staying at a Marriott hotel in South Florida. Source: Reddit
The Reddit poster revealed that they had been staying at a Marriott hotel in South Florida. Source: Marriott

“That is bulls**t,” one person wrote. “You’ve got to be joking,” said another. “That is insane.”

“This is so dumb, they’re already paying to have the fridge operational,” someone else added. “[They’re] just trying to make money while inconveniencing their guests at the same time.”

Others suggested methods to dodge the sensor system.

“Unplug it, add your contents, then plug it back in, it will never register the door opening,” commented one user.

“Tell the front desk you have diabetes and need a fridge for insulin,” suggested another. “They’ll either wave the fee or send up a fridge you can use.”

Users on Reddit slammed the move to charge people to use the fridge as 'dumb' and 'insane'. Source: Reddit
Users on Reddit slammed the move to charge people to use the fridge as 'dumb' and 'insane'. Source: Marriott

‘A mini bar isn’t meant for personal items’

While some stood behind the hotel and its ‘refreshment center’ policy.

“The charge is because people take the stuff out of the mini bar to put their stuff in, leave it sitting out all weekend, then put it back so the next guy gets mouldy snacks and skunk beer,” one person said.

“It’s because food smell can enter the liquid cooling system of a refrigerator,” another wrote. “When that happens, it might smell bad or cause other items in there to stink too.”

Another insisted that a mini bar is “not meant for personal items.”

“They calculate what items you used by weight,” they said. “If you replace your own items in it, the system won’t calculate mini bar items correctly.”

Yahoo News Australia reached out to the Marriott hotel group but is yet to hear back.

Do you have a story tip? Email: newsroomau@yahoonews.com.

You can also follow us on Facebook, Instagram, TikTok and Twitter and download the Yahoo News app from the App Store or Google Play.