Disgruntled cafe owner bills customers extra if they charge their phones on-site

cafe owner charging extra for smartphone phone
davidryo/123RF
A cafe owner at a famous Vienna landmark has had enough of customers charging their smartphones on the premises.

To try to discourage customers from sticking their chargers in the wall for lengthy periods of time, owner Galina Pokorny is now levying a fee of 1 euro (about $1.07) for anyone who charges their phone for more than 15 minutes.

Pokorny runs the Terrassen Cafe inside Hundertwasserhaus, a colorful and quirky apartment building in the Austrian capital designed by the late architect Friedensreich Hundertwasser.

It appears, however, that the fee is less about visitors taking up space for long periods of time without ordering anything, and more about using the cafe’s power supply.

“Tourists — always electricity, electricity, electricity. Sorry but who is going to pay me for it?” Reuters reported the disgruntled owner as saying.

Pokorny said she may be the only cafe in town charging customers for powering up their mobile devices, but insisted she was doing so because “I run a cafe, not an internet cafe.”

She added that the practice appeared to be getting “more and more extreme. People come and think everything is accessible and free.”

The fee has actually been in place for some time, but came to light this week after local media heard about it. The extra expense is reportedly also added to the check of anyone charging a laptop or tablet for a long period of time, and charged on a per-outlet basis.

Despite Pokorny’s complaints about customers using too much electricity, a ZDNet report last year suggested the cost of charging a smartphone once a day for a whole year amounted to a mere 84 cents. Yes, 84 cents for the entire year.

On the plus side, Terrassen Cafe’s Wi-Fi is still free, so anyone heading there for a relaxing coffee and intense smartphone session would be wise to ensure they have a fully powered device and a portable charger. Unless you’re cool with coughing up the extra fee, of course.

Mobile

Oppo could reveal a new smartphone with a 10x optical zoom

Cracking a solid zoom on smartphones has been a riddle many years in the solving. One company may have finally cracked it though: Oppo may be about to show off a phone with a 10x optical zoom.
Computing

Our favorite Windows apps will help you get the most out of your new PC

Not sure what apps you should be downloading for your newfangled Windows device? Here are the best Windows apps, whether you need something to speed up your machine or access your Netflix queue. Check out our categories and favorite picks.
Computing

Reluctant to give your email address away? Here's how to make a disposable one

Want to sign up for a service without the risk of flooding your inbox with copious amounts of spam and unwanted email? You might want to consider using disposable email addresses via one of these handy services.
Movies & TV

Epic sci-fi novels you should read before they become blockbuster films

You can get ahead of the next crop of science-fiction movies coming out of Hollywood by picking up the books that inspired them. We compiled a list of books you can add to your reading list now to get a glimpse of the future.
Photography

These point-and-shoot cameras make your smartphone pics look like cave paintings

If your smartphone camera just isn't giving you the results you're looking for, maybe it's time to step up your game. The latest and greatest point-and-shoot cameras offer large sensors, tough bodies, and long lenses -- something no phone…
Mobile

The LG G8 ThinQ may arrive at MWC 2019 with an on-screen speaker

LG is expected to release a successor to the LG G7 ThinQ, possibly called the LG G8 ThinQ, this year and rumors about it are already spreading. Here's everything we know about it so far.
Outdoors

Nike’s Adapt BB shoes let you tighten your laces with an iPhone

The new Nike Adapt BB shoe comes with smartphone connectivity that allows the user to tighten the laces using a smartphone while providing the ability to adjust tension throughout the game.
Wearables

How to switch TicHealth to Google Fit on the Mobvoi TicWatch C2 and TicWatch Pro

The Mobvoi TicWatch C2 and TicWatch Pro are both much-loved and feature-packed watches, and they offer excellent fitness tracking. Recently, Mobvoi has switched out Google Fit for TicHealth, but you can switch them back. Here's how.
Mobile

If you're looking for a good laugh, here are 70 questions to ask Siri

Siri has come a long way since her first appearance on the iPhone 4S in 2011. We know she can make appointments and give directions, did you know she can make you laugh too? If you want proof, here are lots of funny questions to ask Siri.
Mobile

Benchmark results show Snapdragon 855 destroys previous-generation chip

Almost exactly a year after the launch of the Snapdragon 845, Qualcomm took the wraps off of its next-generation mobile platform, the new Snapdragon 855. The new chip puts an emphasis on A.I. performance.
Mobile

We tried all the latest and greatest smartphones to find the best of 2019

Smartphones are perhaps the most important and personal piece of tech on the planet. That’s why it’s important to pick the best phone for your individual needs. Here are the best smartphones you can buy.
Mobile

On a budget? We found the best affordable smartphones you can buy

Here are the best cheap phones for anyone working with a tight budget, whether you're a fan of stock Android or marathon battery life. Find out what you can get for under $500 or far, far less as we round up the best budget smartphones.
Mobile

AT&T jumps the gun with deliberately misleading 5GE launch

As excitement about 5G networks continues to build, AT&T jumps the gun with a ridiculous and deliberate attempt to deceive the public with 5G Evolution – a speed bump that’s based on improvements to 4G tech.
Mobile

Apple’s official iPhone XS battery case is finally here

Apple has been rumored to be working on a new iPhone battery case for the iPhone XS, iPhone XS Max, and iPhone XR. Now, those new cases are finally here, offering seven hours of extra use for each iPhone and are available for $129.