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Are New York Nightclubs Ripping Customers Off?

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Several high profile nightclubs are under investigation for charging their customers dubious operation fees that may be illegal. According to a blockbuster report in the Post, big time club operators like EMM Group and Strategic Group include additional charges on all of their customers checks, usually under the phrase "operations charges" which can add anywhere from 3-5% on to a bill. For example, the EMM Group's new club FINALE charges a 5% operation fee for booze or 22% for bottle service, while the Strategic Group has a similar policy at its own swank clubs.

Reps for both clubs say that their billing is legal, arguing that the fees are not tips and go to cover things like credit card charges. But the city's Department of Consumer Affairs isn't buying it, saying that surcharges are not legal in New York and that "consumers may not be charged for something they did not ask for and receive." So look out, you may be celebrating the 10 year anniversary of smoke free clubs with cheaper bills very soon.
· City Investigating Manhattan Nightclubs for Charging Hidden Fees[NYP]
· Nightlife Coverage [~ENY~]
[Image courtesy of Bowery Boogie ]

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