Would You Like Some Ice With That?

Is it reasonable for a pub to charge for a glass of water? We’re not talking craft water, drawn from the bowels of a private spring by toiling artisans, but the ordinary stuff. Corporation pop as we called it in my day. The question has risen after Nick Molyneux, a CAMRA member, complained about one of his friends being charged 50p for a glass at the John Thompson Inn in Ingleby. Despite his group buying eight pints of beer, five glasses of wine and eight bags of crisps, the designated driver was still charged for his water.

Mr Molyneux said: “We’d travelled from Nottingham and had spent around £50 on drinks and crisps. The driver was dehydrated and was very unhappy to be told to pay. “We asked for a receipt so we could make the complaint. I went back, offered him the chance to pay my friend the money back and that would be the end of it. But he didn’t. I do not think it’s right. They should bend over backwards to get people in the pub. They are also a country pub, so there are bound to be a lot of people driving.”

The pub’s co-owner, Nick Thompson, defended the charge by saying it was for extras of ice and a fruit garnish. He also said that he was originally unaware that Mr Molyneux’s friend was part of a larger group of visitors who arrived later. Of course pubs are businesses that are free to determine their own charges but perhaps with the current state of the trade, they should look at the bigger picture. A 50p charge won’t buy much goodwill and may well put off prospective customers. 


Cooking Lager said…
it's a rip off and the pub is a piss taking load of twats.
Curmudgeon said…
This comment has been removed by the author.
Curmudgeon said…
Aren't pubs now legally required to provide free tap water on request?

In the circumstances, it does look like poor customer relations.

Mind you, if six strapping hikers turned up at a Lake District pub and demanded pints of tap water all round the licensee might feel entitled to be a bit aggrieved.
RedNev said…
You can get tap water for nothing now; that's the law. However, if you ask for ice and/or lemon, they can charge, and that is what has happened here, as your post makes quite clear. If you don't want to be charged, ask for plain tap water with nothing added. I've never known a pub to charge for water, even with the extras, but then I've only asked for water for a driving member of our group, the rest of which is buying beer.

As the licensee didn't know the water drinker was part of a larger group, I can see nothing wrong with his charging someone whom he thought had just come in for a free glass of iced water with lemon, just as he might be peeved when people use the toilets with no intention of buying anything.
Tyson said…

He said he was "originally unaware" that the driver was part of the group. As is clear, this was pointed out to him. At which point, considering their spend, garnish or no garnish, he should have refunded the money.
Cooking Lager said…

What is a reasonable number of dumps someone ought be allowed? Like a pint to dump ratio?

Am I allowed a dump per pint? How much toilet paper is reasonable? If I have a few drinks in a gaff and don't take a dump, can I return the day after to claim my free dump?
Dean said…
I'm with Cookie on this. The landlord's a twat.
RedNev said…
A reasonable ratio, CL, should not involve 0 (nought, or zero) drinks.
RedNev said…
Tyson, I do agree that once he knew the situation, he should have chucked back the 50p, and I didn't say otherwise previously. But more generally, I do sympathise with landlords who object to people using their facilities without buying anything.
Curmudgeon said…
There also seems to be a widespread belief that pubs make enormous profits and therefore should provide some products either free or at knock-down prices.
Cooking Lager said…
Maybe a system, Nev, whereby you get given 2 sheets of bog roll per pint handed to you at the bar. You can use them or save them up. Then when you've drank enough you can go for a really big dump and treat yourself. Kinda like cashing in nectar points.
Stanley Blenkinsop said…
I,too,agree with Cookie.
Not only is the landlord a twat but he's a greedy twat too.

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