AN East London boozer has been slammed by drinkers for slapping a 10 per cent fee onto the price of a pint after 9pm.
Matt Broad was shocked to find a £1.95 charge had been added to his round of three drinks at The Ten Bells in Spitalfields last night.
It saw 65p added to each of the three £6.40 Stone & Wood Pacific Ales he purchased on tap, taking the price to a staggering £7.05 each, and £21.15 altogether.
Matt says the fee is a “rip-off”, which he says could be considered ironic given victims of serial killer “Jack the Ripper” are believed to have frequented the boozer.
The 31-year-old, who works in logistics, got to the pub around 10pm after a curry with mates down nearby Brick Lane.
But on querying why his bill was so high, Matt was shown a receipt stating that a “Late Night Pricing” fee had been added to his tab.
He told The Sun: “£6.40 for a pint is pretty extortionate anyway given the beer was only 4.4 per cent ABV (alcohol by volume content), but then on top of this was this ridiculous after hours charge.
“When I asked to speak to the manager I was told there had been a sign on the wall about the charge but there was nothing there when I looked.
“There were about ten of us altogether and no-one had ever heard of this charge.
“We normally come to this pub once a month but we’ll be looking for a new boozer now.”
The Ten Bells declined to comment when contacted by The Sun, so it’s unclear when the charge took force, what booze it applies to, and whether it differs by tipple.
But Matt says he was told the fee was introduced last month for all drinks purchased after 9pm.
When he tweeted a picture of his receipt others were also outraged by the “sneaky” charge.
One person commented: “Outrageous behaviour. Something needs to be done #boycottthetenbells”
Another added: “No mention on their website that I can see – is it displayed in the bar on price list though? 10pm is hardly late night for a pub… Interested to see what their answer is…”
Someone else added: “Whaaaaat? What’s the justification for it?”
While another quipped: “£7.05 for a pint, Christ”.
Another person tweeted that this would make it “unhappy hour”, while someone else pointed out: “They rely on people just hitting contactless and not even noticing.”
Someone else commented: “This is one of the most London things I’ve seen. Also can’t help but feel like there’s a bit of sneaking the prices up as people are getting more tipsy and won’t notice.”
Pubs are allowed to set their own rates for drinks, so it’s up to them what to charge – including any fees.
Some may charge more to cover the cost of the government’s “Late Night Levy” regulations, which allows local authorities to take an annual fee from businesses to cover the cost of policing the streets at night.
But this only applies to premises open between 12am and 6am.
Trade body the British Beer and Pubs Association told The Sun it’s not seen late night pricing like this before at pubs, and adds that it is not standard industry practice.
If you’re unhappy about the price or service at your local, first complaint to the establishment involved. If that doesn’t work, you can take your complaint to Trading Standards.
Pubs have been struggling of later, with one in ten set to close over the next five years putting 18,000 jobs at risk.
Beer prices jumped by 10p a pint in 2019.
If you want to support your local, check out our round-up of the best British pubs from Leicester to Essex chosen by Sun readers.