|By Bill Lindelof, The Sacramento Bee,
Calif.McClatchy-Tribune Regional News
Aug. 03, 2011--A Sacramento man has filed a lawsuit seeking class action status against a Hilton hotel because he was charged 75 cents for a newspaper that he believed was free.
Rodney Harmon said he stayed at the Hilton Garden Inn Sonoma County Airport in Santa Rosa on March 28. While there on a business trip, he noticed a USA Today on the floor outside his room.
In the suit he filed against the hotel chain in U.S. District Court in San Francisco, Harmon said he assumed the paper had been placed there for free. Several days later, he said, he learned that he had been charged 75 cents.
Harmon said the word "newspaper" does not appear anywhere on his room bill. Clifford L. Carter, Harmon's lawyer, said in an interview Tuesday that "you would have no idea you were being charged for the paper."
Hilton Hotels did not immediately respond to a request for a comment.
The suit says the newspaper charge is inconspicuously placed in the paper sleeve in which the hotel guest's room card is held upon check-in.
The suit alleges the newspaper charge is written in small type on the sleeve and is difficult to read. The suit says that the hotel guest may "unrequest" the newspaper by calling the front desk.
In the suit, Harmon says he believes the vast majority of newspapers delivered to hotel guests are not read by guests, making them a waste of resources and energy.
Carter said that although his client was charged less than $1, the hotel chain charges everyone 75 cents, which adds up to a lot of money.
Call The Bee's Bill Lindelof, (916) 321-1079.
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