Hotel tries charging guest $40 to use in-room mini fridge

@theflylifeofjamie/TikTok kitzcorner/ShutterStock (Licensed)

‘$40 to empty a mini fridge is wild’: Viewers defend guest after hotel charges $40 just to use mini fridge

'Tell them you have medicine that has to be refrigerated.'


Jack Alban


Posted on Dec 3, 2023   Updated on Dec 3, 2023, 8:45 am CST

Hotels aren’t exactly known for charging fair prices for some of the treats at the mini-bar you would never think about eating outside of that little refrigerator in your room.

Sure, a $13 can of macadamia nuts may seem outrageous, but that seems like a smart buy compared to what’s being called an absurd charge in one hotel.

TikToker Jamie (@theflylifeofjamie) called out a practice that appears to be peculiar: guests being charged simply to use the mini refrigerators inside of their rooms.

Not only were guests charged for taking any of the items inside the fridge, which included soda and alcoholic beverages, but Jamie said that they were also being charged to have hotel staff remove the items from the mini-fridge if guests wanted to put their own stuff inside.

Her viral TikTok showing off the cost accrued over 1.3 million views as of Sunday, with many viewers commenting that they also weren’t down with the $40 fridge fee.

“They have like a price list, well, there are sensors under each thing in there so if it’s taken out it will automatically charge it to the room,” Jamie says in the clip. “These minis up here, these are like, shooters, are $20 a piece.” She points out a slew of tiny airplane bottles of liquor.

If you’ve never come across these “sensor” fridges, there are various companies that sell them much to the chagrin of hotel guests everywhere.

Jamie continues, “I’m like OK cool, well I brought my flight attendant lunch box and I need somewhere to put my food. Do you guys have like an extra fridge or can I take this stuff out and…give it back to you and use the fridge for all my meal prep? Hotel’s like, ‘Yeah it’ll be $40.'”

The TikToker then squats down and points to a white and red label affixed to the mini-bar fridge that confirmed what the employee told her: “Front desk if preferred mini bar emptied $40 charge.”

Jamie seems gobsmacked by the fee, saying, “$40 to remove this alcohol that I don’t need.”

“I’ve seen people on TikTok saying that they’re like sober and they just request it and it’s not a big deal and it’s free,” she says. “Nope, $40 to empty the stupid mini fridge.”

Jamie didn’t seem too keen on handing over that money for such a overt case of nickel-and-diming, so she came up with a new way to make sure her meal prep didn’t spoil. Her video cuts to the TikToker pointing to a black waste bin.

In it is a tightly wrapped plastic bag. “So my solution is this bin that I found with a garbage bag that’s clean with a bunch of ice and all my…” she says, the video cutting out before she says what’s inside of the bag, but it’s presumably the food she was worried about going bad.

@theflylifeofjamie $40 to empty a fridge #lasvegas #vegas #vegashotels #virginhotellasvegas ♬ original sound – JAMIE ♡

One viewer had a better idea: tell the hotel that your life depends on whether or not you can use the fridge. “Tell them you have medicine that has to be refrigerated,” they advised. “They have to give you the fridge for free.”

However, someone else who made this very request ended up with a bit more than they bargained for, writing, “I once asked for a fridge for my diabetic meds and they rolled in a full size fridge and hooked it up in the corner.”

In the comments section, Jamie added that the hotel did offer a workaround for folks who didn’t want to pay $40 for the privilege of keeping a soda can refrigerated.

“I think they provide a lunch box with ice packs or dry ice it sounded like and they said it wouldn’t fit any food in it so I just gave up on that,” she wrote.

Another person told her to unplug the refrigerator, which would presumably allow her to remove the items without triggering its sensors, and then simply put her items in and plug it back in.

One TikToker recommended she head to a drug store and purchase a cheap styrofoam cooler, but unfortunately, that wasn’t an option for Jamie as she wrote, “The CVS across the street was out bc of 4th of July weekend but that’s what I was thinking too!”

As it turns out, however, hotel guests weren’t just being charged for fridge usage: apparently, some people said that they were getting billed just to use a microwave.

“Yep. I ordered a microwave and it was $25 for 24 hours,” one user recounted. “They came banging on my door to get it back at exactly 24 hours.”

The Daily Dot has reached out to Jamie via email for further comment.

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*First Published: Dec 3, 2023, 9:00 am CST