Hotel Guest Files Class-Action Lawsuit for Newspaper Charge

By Paige Wills in Facts About The Paper Industry, How Paper Is Environmentally Friendly, Why Choose Paper?

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         Have you ever stayed at a hotel and found a newspaper outside of your door the next morning? Most would assume that it is a complimentary newspaper courtesy of the hotel. However, this wasn’t the case for one guest at a Hilton hotel in Santa Rosa, Calif., reports Henry K. Lee of the San Francisco Chronicle, in his article titled “Hilton guest makes federal case out of 75 cent paper.” 

        Lee reports the guest filed a class-action law suit against the hotel chain after he received a 75 cent charge for the newspaper, which he said was a deceitful scheme that hurts the environment.

          According to the article, the guest said he was tricked into purchasing the newspaper because he found the newspaper lying outside of his door and assumed it was compliments of the hotel. However, he didn’t know he would be charged 75 cents for the paper because he said the hotel deliberately hid the charge because  it was written in “extremely small font which is difficult to notice or read” on the sleeve of his room card.

         The suit goes onto note that newspaper readership has drastically declined and that most guests aren’t reading the paper anyway. Here is a quote from the article.

“The wasted papers are an ‘offensive waste of precious resources and energy,” said the suit, which also said that ‘deforestation caused by paper production is a matter of concern and worry in this state, country and worldwide (San Francisco Chronicle).’”
          I agree that a newspaper lying outside of your door is misleading. Most people would assume that it is free. However, it seems this could be a faulty system. What if someone was walking down the hallway and picked up the newspaper in front of your door because they too thought it was free? You could be charged for a paper you didn’t receive.

          On the other hand, I disagree with the part of the lawsuit that states the hotels are hurting the environment by providing newspapers. Who is to say the hotel doesn’t recycle all unused newspapers? According to “Fun Facts About Paper Recycling” via  livestrong.com, newspaper consumption is falling but Waste Age Magazine reports that 70 percent of newspaper is recovered from recycling and that 28 percent of the fiber used to make newspaper comes from recycled newspapers.

         So next time you stay at a hotel and have a newspaper outside of your door, you may want to call the front desk or read the fine print to see if the newspaper is complimentary or if you would have to pay for it!

        What are your thoughts on this?



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