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London (ANI): Queen of pop Madonna and her husband Guy Ritchie''s London pub is to be investigated by trading standards officials amid allegations of unfair pricing strategies. The couple bought the 18th Century Punchbowl pub near their home in London''s Mayfair six months ago for a reported 2.5 million pounds.
Now, customers at the pub have accused the landlords of having two different pricelists for drinks - one for locals and another for tourists. And it is also claimed that the price list is not displayed in the bar for customers - a legal requirement. Westminster Council has now launched an inquiry into pricing at the boozer, which is regularly visited by Madge and Guy and has been used by stars including Robert De Niro, Barbra Streisand, and Al Pacino.
Customer Brian Richardson plunged the pub into controversy by claiming he was charged 3.90 pounds for a pint instead of 3.50 pounds. He said that when he complained he was told they charged more for people they do not recognise.
"I was shocked. They have got regulars'' prices and non-regulars'' prices," the Daily Star quoted Richardson, as saying. “There is no price list on the wall. I don''t mind paying more, but it is completely arbitrary. It is outrageous," he added. Sue Jones, head of Westminster trading standards, said tariffs must be displayed and selling drinks at different prices could be an offence.
"This may well constitute an offence under unfair trading regulations, which we would look into," she added. However, assistant manager Henry Heaton denied the allegations. "It is not true at all that we fail to have tariffs on display and charge different prices," he said. "The price list is up on the bar now. What has happened is some of the prices have changed. "And it is not correct to say that regulars get drinks at better prices than tourists," he added. A rep for the couple said that they would be making no comment all.