Manchester hotel charges Australian £55,000 for a beer


Complaints about the price of a pint are nothing new but an Australian journalist has more reason than most to gripe, after being charged more than £55,000 for a beer in a Manchester hotel. Peter Lalor, who is the chief cricket writer and beer editor of the Australian newspaper, was charged the exorbitant sum for a bottle of Deuchars IPA at the Malmaison hotel, after a day watching the Ashes cricket series at Old Trafford.

“I decided I wanted one beer on the way home and dropped in because I have mates staying there,” he told the Guardian. “When I paid, I didn’t have my glasses on and there was some issue with the machine so I had to put my details in twice. “I just had this weird feeling and I said, ‘How much did I just pay for that beer?’ The girl at the bar looked at the reeipt and said, ‘Oh my God!’ and was a bit reluctant to show me the bill.”

Upon seeing he had been charged A$99,983.64 (£55,262.96), Lalor said a hotel manager immediately admitted the mistake and promised to help him rectify it with his bank. He left, wrongly assuming the bank would never authorise such a large payment anyway.

“I woke up to an alarmed phone call from my wife, who had found a massive hole in my mortgage account,” said Lalor. “They can take the money out in a second but apparently it takes them up to 10 working days to put it back. I’m losing a fair whack of interest and as of this moment, I’m $99,000 out of pocket.(The Guardian)…[+]