SMALL BUSINESS

Paying To Pee? Restaurant Tracks Down Customer Who Failed To Pay Restroom Bill

02/28/2013 05:06 pm ET | Updated Mar 01, 2013

The management at a Tennessee restaurant have gone to great lengths -- even enlisting the help of the local sheriff -- to track down a woman who allegedly failed to pay a $5 fee charged to non-patrons who use the business' restroom.

"I don't feel it was a crime,” Patricia Barnes, the woman accused of not paying before peeing, told Today.com.

The restaurant's owner reportedly obtained Barnes' license plate number and went on to get her mailing address from the local sheriff.

the flood zone pay to pee

While some establishments view non-patrons using their restrooms as an inevitable annoyance, others don't take the issue so lightly. Patrons have also been known to react with frustration at being charged for facilities they feel should be free.

As the New York Times reported in 2011, when a Brooklyn barber shop started charging a $1 fee for use of its restrooms, one woman was so outraged that she hurled insults at the barber and later returned to the shop with a large group, apparently meant as backup. The police ended up having to break up the fist fight that broke out.

After European airline Ryanair announced in 2010 that it intended to charge the equivalent of $1.30 for use of its bathrooms on flights, customers were outraged. One professor was so miffed by the idea that he told ABC News he would protest the proposed policy by locking himself in a bathroom at the beginning of a flight and remain there until landing.

A second-grade teacher's rewards system for good behavior also backfired when it involved paying for bathroom breaks. The fake money students earned was to be put toward restroom trips that didn't fall within designated break times. One child ended up wetting his pants because he hadn't accumulated enough "Boyd Bucks." The school district later acknowledged to NBCDFW.com that the program was a "bad decision."

Do you think it's fair for a business to charge for the use of its bathrooms? Share your thoughts in the comments, or tweet us @HuffPostSmBiz.

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