Sensor Abuse: Fancy Minibar Charges You for Merely Moving Drinks

Illustration for article titled Sensor Abuse: Fancy Minibar Charges You for Merely Moving Drinks

It used to be that if you stayed at a hotel with a minibar, you could down some $8 bags of chips or whatever else was stored in there as long as you replaced them before you checked out to avoid getting ripped off. No more. Now minibars have motion sensors and scales built in, so if you so much as move an item you automatically purchase it. The latest offender is the minibar at the Wynn in Las Vegas.

It has tasty-looking food sitting on top of the minibar, but that classy-looking tray is actually a scale. If you take something off, it'll know about it via scales and sensors, and you'll suddenly find $25 worth of mixed nuts charged to your room bill. Better hope you don't want to check out the nutritional info or anything. Don't worry, however: standing close and smelling the packages is still OK, as is staring from afar. At least for now; you never know what sensors they're working on. [Upgrade: Travel Better via Consumerist]

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A few years ago I checked into the Venetian for a convention and at check in the clerk stopped, looked me straight in the eye and did this little speech: "the minibar in your room has a sensor in it, if you even move anything in the minibar you will be charged for it even if you don't consume it, do you understand?" I tried to decline the minibar key (there isn't one) and she wouldn't complete my checkin until I verbally agreed, I'm dead certain that whole performance was recorded. God I hate Vegas and would rather go to conventions anywhere else, heck even Orlando.