Hilton sued over newspaper service charge

by Alfie FEATHERSTONE on August 2, 2011

A California man is suing the Hilton group after it asked him to pay 46p for having a newspaper left outside his hotel room door.

Rodney Harmon didn’t request a newspaper, assuming it had been put there by staff at Hilton’s Garden Inn hotel, Sonoma County Airport - as detailed in a lawsuit that was filed last week.

Harmon, aged 55 and of Sacramento, the state capital of California, filed a new class-action lawsuit that will try to take at least $5 million from the company, on the behalf of every guest who might also have paid for newspapers they didn’t want - more often than not unwittingly.

He alleges that Hilton has an ongoing “scheme” that involves it tricking customers into shelling out for one copy of USA Today each. Harmon’s lawsuit claims that the newspaper charge is placed in a paper sleeve which any guest’s room card is put in. Even worse is that it is written in small font that’s incredibly difficult to read, Harmon claims, with the word ‘newspaper’ not appearing anywhere on hotel invoices.

Harmon said that he neither read the newspaper nor otherwise made use of it, believing that the same has been true of millions of Hilton guests around the world, and not just in the US. Such wastes of precious resources undermine government policy that is solely dedicated to avoiding unnecessary waste and any accumulation of garbage, while conserving energy sources and protecting the environment from unreasonable impact, Harmon continued.

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