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When ignorance of the law isn’t even an excuse

By toriness - 13 June 2010 28

There have been, if my memory serves me correctly, a few posts and debates on RA before about public holiday surcharges in restaurants. There are the for and against sides to the debate to be sure but the bald-faced arrogance in a statement by Canberra’s Tosolini’s quoted in this SMH article expressly stating their deliberate flaunting of their disobedience regarding the law regarding public holiday surcharging surely beggars belief:

”But no one else did, no one else was complying,” Sam said. ”So I thought, ‘I’m not going to comply until we get told to.”’

Sam, you are an idiot!

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28 Responses to
When ignorance of the law isn’t even an excuse
glennmatthew 4:42 pm 14 Jun 10 said :

I mean if the business is knowngly acting illegaly, isn’t that fraud?

I’m no lawyer, though you did willingly engage in the transaction thus accepting the contract offered. I doubt you’d have recourse. The problem is misrepresentation of price by false and deceptive advertising, the contract itself probably wouldn’t be illegal.

glennmatthew 4:39 pm 14 Jun 10

First establishment I walked into, and surely enough I paid $4.40 for my $4 coffee. This is the place South Goulburn exit, on the way up to McDonald’s, Caltex across the road.

Trapper’s Bakery of Goulburn: Public Holiday Surchage; 10% on all products; we pay out staff public holiday rates. I took a picture for everyone else’s info. 12:02 pm 14 Jun 10

Okay, here’s a scenario. I go into said restraunt, look at the menu, order something, eat, pay the bill, wander off and then realise there’s a 10% surcharge added. Can I go back and demand a refund of the 10%? Or having eaten at said restraunt several times on week ends, but not having retains recipts, how can I reciver my costs? For that matter, how can the community at large reciver those costs? Not that it is a big amount, but surely it would add up to a huge cost over time to all people who have eaten there. I mean if the business is knowngly acting illegaly, isn’t that fraud?
At the least they should be made to donate an averaged income from those illegal surcharges to a charity, such as the Vinnies winter appeal or similar. This is of course assuming that they did not have their week end menu.

vg 11:39 am 14 Jun 10

Just got back from Coffee Club, Gungahlin, where I was charged a $2 surcharge on 2 coffees. I told them it was illegal and the 2 16yos behind the counter couldn’t conceive the idea. The comment was ‘we wouldn’t do it if it wasn’t allowed’.

I will be calling the manager tomorrow and asking them why I shouldn’t refer it to the ACCC.

pptvb 9:33 am 14 Jun 10

vg said :

Might pop into Tosolinis and drop a grogan on a table……..because no-one told me not to

Don’t forget that extra 20%

Davo111 2:13 am 14 Jun 10

So they can just print off a new paper menu for that weekend? sounds fine to me.

Perhaps pubs and bars should be forced to have a proper drinks price list. Thats something i’d like to see the ACCC enforce.

CanberraCreative 11:39 pm 13 Jun 10

I didn’t know about the surcharge until recently. I can name a dozen restaurants and cafes who change a 10% Sunday and Holiday surcharge so Tosolinis isn’t alone.

Pork Hunt 8:34 pm 13 Jun 10

vg said :

Might pop into Tosolinis and drop a grogan on a table……..because no-one told me not to

And then complain when you find a hair in it…

glennmatthew 6:46 pm 13 Jun 10

The article is almost misleading at the start.

Restaurants are allowed to charge extra, however they must advertise the total price inclusive of tax, tip and surcharge upfront.

About time too, we ain’t America. I like to know what I’m paying without having to get the calculator out for percentages.

dvaey 5:17 pm 13 Jun 10

As the initiator of this thread last year, Ill be very interested to see what happens on the public holiday. Sadly, Im sure most employees still wont receive their proper entitlements tomorrow, having been employed under contracts and working conditions which dont have penalty rates.

eq2 5:14 pm 13 Jun 10

The first paragraph of this article is misleading. Surcharges are not banned under the new laws, however they need to be incorporated into price representations if they are compulsory. The 5th paragraph in the article makes this clear:

“Restaurants and cafes are now required to incorporate such surcharges into their prices, meaning most must supply a separate weekend menu if they wish to recoup additional staffing costs through their clientele.”

vg 2:48 pm 13 Jun 10

Might pop into Tosolinis and drop a grogan on a table……..because no-one told me not to

inlymbo 2:37 pm 13 Jun 10

I had no idea either. The article points out that restaurants etc just have to have a weekend and public holiday menu that includes a surcharge in the price of each item. Sounds easy and reasonable to me? This is of course reliant on owners and staff knowing what day it is and where to find the surcharge menu, that may be a little difficult for some………

pptvb 2:33 pm 13 Jun 10

Me either, though I guess most of the restaurants are aware. They’re just trying their luck like Tossolini’s & would back down if questioned.
I’m dying to test this out!

BenjaminL 10:52 am 13 Jun 10

Wow, I had no idea this was illegal. Time to name and shame all the restaurants in Canberra that still do this practice. I’m sure I’ve been stung plenty of times by this over the last year.

What happens if you go out to dinner, and refuse to pay the 10% surcharge?

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