This week, Reportage and 2SER Radio Atticus reported that scores of restaurants and cafés in Australian capital cities were flouting consumer protection laws and illegally charging patrons on weekends and public holidays. Now, we want your help.
Editor’s note: Reportage Online would like to thank the public for its overwhelming response to the surcharge campaign. We have received tweets from all over Sydney and as far up as Brisbane. However, some restaurants and cafes dobbed in by tweeters have now denied charging the surcharges. Due to a lack of resources, Reportage journalists cannot visit every cafe and restaurant personally to verify the claims. Because of this, we ask Twitters to send in Twitpics of their bill showing the *% surcharge. These will be added to our Twitter stream. Remember to include the #surcharge hashtag to all tweets!
Reportage Online will attempt to verify all tweets of illegal surcharging.
If you use twitter, then tweet the restaurant or cafe’s name and surcharge amount using the #surcharge hashtag, and we’ll confirm with the restaurant or cafe and then plot it on our map. You can also tweet a photo of the menu showing the surcharge, or of your bill with the surcharge listed on it.
For those without twitter, you can leave a comment below (comments will be held until verified with the cafe/restaurant mentioned), or send an email to email@example.com.
Read the original story about Surcharge Sinners.
Data collected between May 17 and June 6, 2010. View Weekend & Public Holiday Surcharges in a larger map
Section 53C of the Trade Practices Act forces businesses to incorporate surcharges into their menu prices. A simple asterisk at the bottom of a menu or bill showing the percentage surcharge is illegal.
However, any businesses charging a set dollar amount, (for example, $3.00 per person) is permitted.
While the ACCC said they are serious about this law, no restaurants have been prosecuted since the law was passed over a year ago.
So send in your tips to show which restaurants and cafes are still not complying.