Attorney sues Romano’s Macaroni Grill for ‘deceptive’ $2 inflation fee: ‘Egregious and surreptitious’

FILE – A Romano’s Macaroni Grill is pictured in Orlando, Florida. (Photo by: Jeffrey Greenberg/Education Images/Universal Images Group via Getty Images)

A consumer attorney in Hawaii is suing a major Italian restaurant chain for a $2 “temporary inflation fee” that has been added to its checks in a manner she alleges is “deceptive.”

Restaurants and corporations like to add on these fees that are supposed to look official and somehow required, and in fact, it’s just a way for them to increase their bottom line and decrease their overhead,” attorney Brandee Faria told FOX Business of the consumer class-action lawsuit she filed against Romano’s Macaroni Grill earlier this year.

Faria, who lives in Honolulu, said multiple complaints regarding the restaurant’s allegedly superfluous inflation fee were funneled to her because of her decades-long work specializing in consumer class-action law. The Denver-based chain has 41 locations throughout the U.S.

Faria claimed Romano’s inflation fee is “the tip of the iceberg,” and that other establishments are engaging in similar practices with so-called “kitchen service charges,” which she said can sometimes amount to as much as 3% of the bill.


“This is something that is much more widespread,” Faria said. “But the whole key to maintaining their ability to continue this is just by making it a nominal amount that nobody’s really going to grumble about it.”

“Companies love to add on fees or surcharges, because at $2 or 3%, the average individual is not going to do anything,” she explained, adding that such fees are not revealed to the consumer until the meal is over. “What can you do at that point in time? You’ve already eaten the food.”

“It adds up very quickly,” she said. “It’s just

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SunLive – Consumer NZ issues car insurance add-on warning

Consumer NZ is warning people to watch out for the hard sell of add-on insurances when buying a car.

Between 2018 and 2020, New Zealanders paid out about $442 million in premiums for add-on insurance at car yards. Only $128 million was paid out in claims.

Add-on insurance includes mechanical breakdown insurance, guaranteed asset protection, credit contract indemnity and payment protection insurance.

These insurances are sold as protection in case the consumer is unable to pay off the loan, or if the car breaks down.

“There are so many exclusions and conditions on these insurance products, it’s incredibly easy for a consumer to get hoodwinked into paying for a policy that provides very little protection,” says Consumer NZ Chief Executive Jon Duffy.

“Often MBI policies don’t provide much more cover than the Consumer Guarantees Act, so we’d recommend consumers really consider whether they need it.

“Under the CGA, if you buy a vehicle which isn’t of acceptable quality, the dealer is required to sort it out. Investing in a pre-purchase inspection and regular car servicing could be a better investment.”

CCI and PPI are designed to cover payments which can’t be made due to sickness, hospitalisation, accident, redundancy, bankruptcy or death.

However, these policies come with a long list of exclusions, including but not limited to anxiety, stress and getting caught in a natural disaster.

In the case of redundancy cover, three out of four providers will only pay after 28 to 30 consecutive calendar days of redundancy.

If you need to claim because of an accident, the cover generally kicks in after five or seven days in hospital. However, the average stay in hospital for acute injuries is just 2.62 days.

“A lot of New Zealanders have sick leave, and if you can’t work because of an accident, ACC

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