An Australian cricket journalist was accidentally charged over £55,000 for a single bottle of beer in Manchester, inadvertently creating “the most expensive beer in history”. This incident, which took place at the Malmaison hotel, has prompted an internal investigation and an apology from those in charge.
Journalist Peter Lalor, who writes for “The Australian” newspaper, said that he had alerted the barmaid at the time due to a “sixth sense” that something had gone wrong. However, the transaction still went ahead, and it was only the day after that he discovered, to his horror, that he had been charged a whopping £55,315.12, or A$99,983.64. Ordinarily, the Deuchers IPA would cost around £5.50.
Lalor later said that, “Australians find England pretty expensive usually, but this takes the cake," adding that £55k is "a lot of money. I'm just a cricket writer, I don't earn big bucks and it's costing me in interest."
Relaying the incident on Twitter, Lalor said:
“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 received a call from his wife confirming that the money had indeed left their account. To top it off, Lalor confirmed that he had also received a £1,000 “transaction fee,” leading him to declare “Until the money comes back I won't rest easy."
Malmaison hotel have since issued an apology since the incident, with a spokesperson stating:
"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."
Despite the catastrophic error, Lalor confirmed that the beer itself was actually pretty tasty. After he’d calmed down, he tweeted:
"It's a good beer. The original version of it won a heap of awards, including the Supreme Champion Beer of Britain, but if you are thinking that no beer is worth the best part of 100,000 dollars, then I am inclined to agree with you."
Even if you adore IPA, it’s hard to argue with him.