Hilton Hotels Sued for Charging Guests for a Morning Newspaper

usatoday.jpg
Hey, I didn't ask for that.
People just don't want to have to pay for newspapers these days. Americans are cancelling their subscriptions in droves. Everyone is still groaning about the New York Times website's pay wall.

And now, people are suing Hilton Hotels for allegedly charging 75 cents for their copies of USA Today, which guests had assumed was free.

The federal class action lawsuit filed in San Francisco on Wednesday alleges a newspaper-delivering "scheme" by the Hilton Hotel dynasty in which an unsolicited USA Today is delivered to guests' doors in the morning, creating the "assumption or expectation" that the paper is free.

Little do those cash-strapped guests know they're shelling out an extra three quarters, tacked onto their hotel bill.

We wonder, is this what's surreptitiously bankrolling Paris Hilton's latest Juicy sweatsuit?

A man who stayed in the Hilton Garden Inn in Sonoma County filed the claim, stating that the only indication that guests are paying the extra fee is printed in "extremely small font" on the sleeve of the room key card. The language "purports to confirm that the hotel guest is requesting the delivery of a newspaper at a charge of .75 cents," the lawsuit states. The only way to prevent the charge is to proactively call the front desk.

What's more, the suit alleges that the fee isn't shown on the guests' bill. Only if they opt out of the charge does a 75-cent credit actually appear on the bill.

The lawsuit purports that most guests probably aren't even reading the paper, making this practice of "serious environmental concern and a cause of harm to residents of the United States."

Hmm. Well, we in the newspaper industry would like to argue that not reading the paper is also of great harm to the United States.   

The lawsuit seeks injunctive and monetary relief -- meaning getting a judge to force Hilton to stop delivering those newspapers.

Good thing you're reading this on the web.

Hat tip: Courthouse News
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