In what appears to be a himalayan blunder, an Australian cricket journalist was charged £55,000 for a single bottle of beer in a Manchester hotel.
Peter Lalor had ordered the £5.50 (N2,036) Deuchers IPA at the city’s Malmaison hotel before being stunned to discover he had been charged £55,315.12 (N20.5 million).
Lalor, who was in the city to cover the Ashes series between England and Australia, said he drank “the most expensive beer in history”.
The journalist, who writes for The Australian newspaper, said he had alerted the barmaid after having a “sixth sense that something had gone wrong”.
“Australians find England pretty expensive usually, but this takes the cake,” Lalor wrote on Twitter.
“That’s a lot of money. I’m just a cricket writer, I don’t earn big bucks and it’s costing me in interest.
“I didn’t have my reading glasses when she presented me with a bill. I said I didn’t want a receipt and she went to leave.
“Something, however, made me ask: ‘How much did I just pay for that beer?’ She checked, covered her mouth, started to giggle and refused to tell me, saying only there had been a mistake and she would fix it.
“She kept giggling. I told her it needed to be fixed and fixed right now.
“She ran to get her manager who took the situation far more seriously and went about attempting to arrange a refund. She told me somebody would be in contact.”
Two days later, Lalor said he took a call from his wife, who confirmed that the money had been debited from their account.
The journalist, who also writes about beer for his newspaper, said: “To add insult to injury they charged a £1,000 transaction fee. Until the money comes back I won’t rest easy.”
A spokesperson for the hotel apologised and said an investigation had been launched.
However, the spokesperson said it would take 10 business days for the refund to be processed.
The spokesperson said: “We are currently carrying out an investigation into what took place. We have been in contact with Peter to apologise and ensure this has been resolved as quickly as possible.”
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