Furious couple slam £8.20 bill for two Diet Cokes as bar charges coronavirus 'booking fee'

A COUPLE are raging after being slapped with an £8.20 bar bill for two Diet Cokes with a coronavirus "booking fee".

Ron Wiltshire and his wife Margaret were billed the £1 fee each at the Fat Cat in Nottingham despite being walk-in customers.

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They insist staff at the bar said the fee was for Covid-19 "track and trace".

The shocked couple phoned the pub later and say they were told the charge was for PPE and hand sanitiser.

They vowed to never return after the "rip off" bill for two small bottles of soft drink.

Ron, from Sheffield, told Nottinghamshire Live: "We sat outside. The lady at the bar said it was £1 per person for track and trace which seemed strange but agreed as we needed a drink.


"The barman came out to us with the drinks and a card machine. When we paid he mumbled something about the charge you’ve been told about.

"My wife said 'wow £8.20 for 2 Diet Cokes' – they were bottles, not the large ones, but smallish glass bottles.

"On getting home I phoned to check and was told that the charge was for hand sanitiser and PPE.

"I know some companies are finding things a struggle, but this is the only time I’ve been charged this, even small independent retailers don’t charge."

He added: "We will not be going back there again."

I know some companies are finding things a struggle, but this is the only time I’ve been charged this

It comes as it was revealed pubs and restaurants are pulling out of the Eat Out to Help Out scheme as "rude" diners abuse staff.

Owners say a surge in demand has seen staff being shouted at and suffer "physical and mental stress."

Pubs and restaurants reopened in England from July 4 after the three-month lockdown.

A spokesman for the Fat Cat insisted the £1 charge was not for hand sanitiser or PPE.

They claimed lots of bars in the area are also charging the booking fee.

A pub spokesman said: "The £1 charge is a booking fee. It's not for PPE and hand sanitiser.

"Everyone is made fully aware of the booking charge before they sit down.

"Lot of bars are charging in town and we are too. Are we doing anything wrong? Are we breaking the law?"

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