A diner at a swanky Sydney restaurant has grilled the venue’s “shameless” service charge after noticing an extra addition to their receipt.
The customer was part of a group of five who dined at the eatery in the CBD on Friday night, where they racked up a $480 bill.
But that wasn’t the final amount.
A photo of the receipt posted to Reddit shows a total of $528, with small print showing an extra $48 “service charge”.
“Shameless services charge and no notification on the menu in font half the size,” the customer said.
On the restaurant’s website, it states that bookings of seven or more will incur a 10 per cent “discretionary service charge” – however the diner said they were only in a group of five.
“Cheeky as. And setting a dangerous trend,” one person wrote, suggesting they hit the restaurant “where it hurts” with a 1 star Google review.
“And there is a spot to leave a tip ... Unbelievable,” another said.
“Really needs to be on their menu for them to be applying it as people will be dining there who didn’t book online. Pretty sure the ACCC would have a field day with this,” another person added.
The diner said they double checked the menu and couldn’t find any mention of a service charge.
“I was in a group of ‘new’ friends who could care less so I didn’t want to get up in everyone’s grill about $10 each.. but I did take the docket for the reddit community so they are all aware this shit happens,” the customer said.
Rules around surcharges
According to the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC), businesses can charge extra for things like card payment surcharges or weekend/public holiday surcharges – but there are rules around it.
“Restaurants, cafes and bistros that charge a surcharge on certain days do not need to provide you a separate menu or price list or have a separate price column with the surcharge included. However, the menu must include the words 'a surcharge of [percentage] applies on [the specified day or days]' and these words must be displayed at least as prominently as the most prominent price on the menu.”
The ACCC also states that businesses may be misleading customers if they “represent that an advertised price is the total price that you will have to pay when it is not”.
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