Corkage: Fees in Print or No Charge?

Corkage: If it is not in writing, can you charge for it?

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One more than one occasion, several come to think of it actually, I have looked over a venues food menu, drink menu, wine list, signage behind the bar, their website, reviews websites and nowhere is it posted in any form or fashion what their corkage fee is. So, I naturally ask them, where can I find your corkage fees posted?

Wheel-O-Corkage - TMMore often than not, I am either told what the corkage fees are or I am asked to wait while the server goes to “ask the manager”.

I am now beginning to wonder if there isn’t some carnival wheel in the back room where various denominations are posted and anytime someone asks what the corkage fee is, they spin the trusty Wheel-O-Corkage™ and determine the corkage du jour.

My comments to the servers or managers has generally been, halfheartedly of course, that if it is not in print or not posted for public viewing, they should not be able to charge for it. This generally creates a somewhat awkward reaction of tight lipped chuckles not unlike those heard at some exclusive country club or… a look of exasperation and just a taste of how dare you under their breathe… and I usually have basically the same reaction.

This now brings me to a cross-roads where I feel I may need to call on a lawyer friend or two and ask them if there is some way to solidify my rights as a consumer and take a firm stand on “If it is not in print or publicly posted” I do not have to pay or I can make up my own fee structure.

I think the simple example is directly connected to the other prices on a menu, the prices on items in a store and the price on the gas pump at the local service station.

I cannot think of any ‘legal’ situation, where a consumer goes into a place of business and none of the items have prices on them and when you ask how much something is, they come up with some random amount out of thin air.

I know this is going to be something that all sides have an option on so, here is your chance to join in on the conversation…


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