Can I refuse to pay large service fee?

Have a question? Ask our expert Simon Calder

Monday 22 October 2018 13:33
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A hotel in Bath added a 19 per cent charge to a £48 dinner bill for two
A hotel in Bath added a 19 per cent charge to a £48 dinner bill for two

Q We booked a special two-night deal at a hotel in Bath and were shocked to see that on a dinner bill of £48 the service charge applied was £9. That seems excessive. Have you any idea how they could justify it, and would we have been able to refuse to pay it?

Name withheld

A I calculate the tip as 19 per cent, which would be nothing unusual in the US but of course is way higher than the norm in Britain. So I think there’s something else happening here.

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