Question: Have you ever been ripped off?
A Rome restaurant has attracted a wave of complaints over the alleged overcharging of tourists after two Japanese diners claimed they had been slapped with a bill for €430 ($470) for two plates of spaghetti and fish, and water. A picture of the hefty bill by Antico Caffè di Marte restaurant, near Castel Sant’Angelo, made the rounds on social media after it was posted on Facebook earlier in September. In addition to the €349.50 total for food, the tourists were charged an extra €80 for the tip.
“We agreed because It would be not a big deal to pay €6.5 extra to try a recommendation dish,” Minh said. “But they brought us only one plate of mixed fish around 2 kg.”
“He complained that this could not be this much and he doesn’t agree to pay this much for the service and tip, they did not announce clearly about this rule on the menu. But they told him that the service and tip were the rules and we really ate that much,” the woman said. “He tried to complain but they forced him to pay. So he paid by himself.”
They tried to report the restaurant to police, but authorities told them they should have called before the payment, Minh said. CNN has contacted the Antico Caffè di Marte restaurant for comment.
Antico Caffè di Marte replied to the criticism triggered by the Japanese tourists’ bill by saying that the menu “is clear,” according to a statement published by the Italian newspaper Il Messaggero.
“Everything is written in detail, just look at the prices: €16 maximum for a spaghetti with seafood,” Giacomo Jin, the owner, said, according to the paper. “To pay that figure, the [Japanese] girls ordered not only spaghetti, but also fish. On the other hand, our fish is fresh: the client picks it at the counter, we weigh it and we cook it.”
As far as the tip was concerned, Jin said it was voluntary and the client could choose between 10 and 20% of the total amount.