From being fat to voting Tory - odd things you can be charged more for

Sarah Coles
Friends working together at sidewalk cafe
Friends working together at sidewalk cafe

A nail salon in the US has been in the news, after one customer claimed to have seen a sign stating that overweight customers would be charged 50% more. The owner denied putting up a sign, but said he would have to consider his policies towards larger people, because they kept breaking his chairs.

It's a controversial idea, but this is far from the first time that a business owner has introduced an unexpected set of charges for a group it considers undesirable.

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We have brought together some of the weirdest charging policies around.

This nail salon isn't the first with ambitions to implement a fat tax. It was suggested by Ryanair in 2009, when the idea was that heavier people took more fuel to fly to their destination, so they should pay more. However, the proposal was dropped after a backlash.

The Taza Indian Buffet in Dundee is charging customers for greed. It runs an all you can eat buffet, and as long as you clear your plate, there's no extra charge. However, if you pile your food high on your plate in a fit of greed - and then fail to clear it - you will be charged £2 per plate extra. The restaurant warns "... and no stacking it up in a pyramid".

A cafe owner in Vienna decided to charge people who were charging their laptops while they ate. She said that the number of tourists popping in to charge all kinds of devices was getting out of hand, so she added a euro to their bill each time.

Earlier this year, a North Yorkshire bookshop owner hit the headlines for demanding people pay a browsing fee of 50p if they planned to loiter in his shop. He said the money could be redeemed against any purchase, and that he just wanted to get rid of time wasters who used the shop to kill time in.

Ziferblat is a cafe that doesn't charge for food and drink - it charges for time. The chain has cafes in Manchester and Liverpool. It checks customers in, and then charges them 6p a minute. They can eat and drink what they like in that time - and can make use of the free wifi. There are plenty who stay for an hour to relax, and apparently there are also those who dash in, gorge themselves, and check out after three minutes - paying just 18p.

Back in 2013 a bistro in Nice hit the headlines, after the owner got fed up of people's rudeness. La Petite Syrah charged £5.90 for a coffee, but £3.60 if the customer said please. Anyone managing to say hello and spread a little bonhomie, meanwhile, would be charged £1.20. The owner said at the time that after introducing the sign, he hadn't had to penalise anyone for rudeness, but he didn't want to rule it out.

After the General Election in 2015, the furious owner of a garden centre in Lewes decided to bring in a Tory tax. He put up a sign saying anyone who voted for the Conservatives would be charged a 10% Tory tax, adding: "I'm sure, as someone who opted to support a party of elitist self-serving types, that you understand that this is one of the many tough decisions that I need to make to balance the books under your preferred government."