Today’s “Conscientious consumer” award goes to Tom Douglas who e-mailed me about a “cheese surcharge” he received on his bill at Chacho’s, a restaurant on Westheimer near Fountainview.
Check out his receipt:
Always curious, I decided to check out the situation. I stopped by Chacho’s for lunch today. I was also charged 7.5% for cheese. But there is no notice posted, nothing on the menu letting consumers know about the extra fee.
The manager on duty told me that Chacho’s started passing along the “cheese surcharge” July 1st when the cost of cheese went up. He said they used to have a sign on each register; and a notice is still posted at the drive-thru. Chacho’s didn’t change its’ menus because the surcharge is supposed to be temporary.
The manager told me he would put the notice back up inside the store. Tom was right to question the charge. If a business doesn’t disclose a fee or charge before the transaction, it’s not legal for the company to just tack it on. This one is all about disclosure. As long as the company lets you know and gives you the option to buy or not buy when considering the full price, they can charge as much or as little for cheese as they like.