Tired of screen addicts, Vienna cafe says phone juice costs extra

The Hundertwasser House landmark, an apartment house designed by artist and architect Friedensreich Hundertwasser, with the "Terrassencafe im Hundertwasserhaus" is seen in Vienna, Austria, February 15, 2017. REUTERS/Heinz-Peter Bader
The Hundertwasser House landmark, an apartment house designed by artist and architect Friedensreich Hundertwasser, with the "Terrassencafe im Hundertwasserhaus" is seen in Vienna, Austria, February 15, 2017. REUTERS/Heinz-Peter Bader

VIENNA (Reuters) - Grumpy waiter service is as traditional as apple strudel in Vienna, but a cafe in one of the city's most recognizable landmarks has caused disquiet with what seems to be an Austrian first: charging customers for charging their phones.

Tired of tourists powering up batteries for hours, cafe owner Galina Pokorny has introduced a 1 euro ($1.06) fee for those who plug in their mobiles for too long.

"Tourists - always electricity, electricity, electricity. Sorry but who is going to pay me for it?" said Pokorny, owner of the Terrassencafe im Hundertwasserhaus - located inside a colorful patchwork of apartments designed by artist and architect Friedensreich Hundertwasser.

Customers who charge up during a 15-minute coffee can still do so for free, she said. An hour, however, is beyond the pale.

"I run a cafe, not an internet cafe," she said, adding that she knew of no other cafes that levy a similar charge.

"It's getting more and more extreme. People come and think everything is accessible and free... You don't even open your eyes in the morning for free."

Pokorny introduced the charge last year, she said, but it gained attention on Wednesday when tabloid Oesterreich published the "bizarre bill" one of its reporters was presented with, featuring the 1 euro charge for "electricity".

The fee also applies to laptops and tablets, and for those using more than one outlet is multiplied by the number of devices plugged in. Disgruntled customers can take some comfort from the fact that wireless internet access is still free.

(Reporting by Francois Murphy; editing by John Stonestreet)

People also read these

Dahlmeier powers to third gold medal at biathlon...

Feb 15, 2017

US-BIATHLON-WORLD:Dahlmeier powers to third gold medal at biathlon Worlds

Biathlon: Russians sing anthem alone as...

Feb 19, 2017

US-BIATHLON-WORLD-ANTHEM:Biathlon: Russians sing anthem alone as organizers play wrong tune

Tennis: Carreno Busta downs Norwegian teen to...

Feb 26, 2017

US-TENNIS-MEN-RIO:Tennis: Carreno Busta downs Norwegian teen to reach Rio final

Turkey says does not welcome comments from...

Feb 27, 2017

US-TURKEY-REFERENDUM-AUSTRIA:Turkey says does not welcome comments from Austria on Erdogan visit

Turkish media mogul Dogan summoned to court over...

Mar 1, 2017

US-TURKEY-MEDIA:Turkish media mogul Dogan summoned to court over fuel smuggling

Sign up now!

About Us

The Market Noise is the first place to look when you need financial and economic insights. We deliver the most accurate news in the business and marketing world to you.