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NC Attorney General Threatens Lawsuit Against Ritz-Carlton

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North Carolina's attorney general is threatening to sue the Ritz-Carlton in uptown over what the hotel called a "CIAA service charge." Some customers upset about the charge had a different name for it: "a black tax."

The CIAA consists of historically black colleges and universities. During its basketball tournament in Charlotte in February, the Ritz-Carlton automatically charged customers an extra 15 percent at its bar.

The North Carolina Attorney General's office says that customers have not been charged that in the past, and that the Ritz-Carlton did not clearly inform customers of the extra charge. The attorney general is threatening to sue the hotel if they can't get more answers about this within the next two weeks.

The attorney general's letter does not say anything about discrimination. Some customers called the charge a black tax, since they couldn't remember similar charges for other big events like Speed Week or the ACC tournament.

The Ritz-Carlton apologized, saying it didn't intend to single out a particular group. A spokeswoman says the hotel is optimistic it can resolve this issue with the attorney general's office.