Tricks restaurants use to con you out of money revealed by Spanish consumer group

Restaurants have been known to charge for individual ice cubes...

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Hidden VAT prices and charges for cutlery which emerge on the bill at the end of a meal have been revealed as among the tactics used by restaurants to con diners out of their money, according to a Spanish consumer rights group.

Facua has warned customers of underhand tactics used by establishments in a blog post, and launched the #BaresParaNoVolver, or #BarsNotToReturnTo, hashtag to spread the word. Here are some of the most mind-boggling.

Charging for cooking food
It seems reasonable for diners to expect cooking to be part of the cost on the menu, but one Spanish restaurant exposed by Facua charged 30cents extra for well-done meat.

(Image: Getty)

Hungry customers who pick from the breadbasket before their dishes are served rightly often believe the snack is complimentary – but can be stung when they see the price has been added to the bill.

Facua found that some restaurants were audacious enough to charge customers for putting ice in drinks, with some ramping up the cost for each individual cube. 

Customers should beware of added costs for ice cubes and cutlery (Image: Getty)

Tap water
Frugal customers are known to make it clear they prefer tap water over bottled to avoid being charged. While it is legal to bill customers for tap water, some bars and restaurants have been caught tricking customers into paying by leaving the price off the menu, according to The Local.Es.

Charging for cutlery
One restaurant flagged up by Facua has been accused of breaking Spanish laws by charging patrons to use cutlery. And as the meal in question included a chicken curry, lasagne and risotta, diners had little choice but to pay.

Charging for the toilet
The cost of the water used in the bathroom is apparently too much for some restaurants to bear, with charges added to the bill for soap and paper towels.

Going against Spanish laws, restaurants have been known to advertise prices on their menus while omitting VAT, meaning the cost of a meal suddenly rises when the bill arrives and it’s too late.

Photos: Getty Images