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Jersey Consumer Council

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Toasting The Festive Season

November 30, 2017 Christmas Top Tips, Consumer Skills No Comments

Picture the Scene ..the Christmas Jingles playing in the background, puddings set a blaze, friends exchanging small gifts and toasting the festive season and then the restaurant bill arrives.

Now you have additional food for thought, where did the service charge on the alcoholic drinks appear from? Is this allowed?

Much to my relief one of my friends works for the Jersey Consumer Council and came to my rescue – apparently this is ok if the restaurant or hotel or bar clearly advertises outside of the premises that they will add a service charge to drinks.

My dining friend explained that under the Licensing (Jersey) Law 1974 Restaurants are obliged to display a list of the prices charged for intoxicating liquor and for meals and refreshments other than intoxicating liquor. It is an offence to charge a higher price than the price displayed.

She explained to me that if a 10% service charge is applied and this is consistent with the displayed pricelists inside and outside of the premises (and any menus) this would be acceptable. However, if this additional charge was not displayed and the premises still added 10% at the end of the meal, they would likely be committing an offence.

BUT she strongly recommended that in the first instance if you feel that a service charge has been incorrectly added to your bill or that you receive and can show the poor service – ask the staff at the time for clarification. If the additional charges are not advertised as above you are NOT required to pay them.

Jersey Consumer Council – helping you make informed choices


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