Published February 28, 2013
A woman said a Tennessee restaurant tracked her via her license plate number and sent her a bill of $5 for using its restroom.
Patricia Barnes told NBC’s Today Show that she went into a restaurant called The Flood Zone in Erin, Tenn., and, after getting permission to use the bathroom, did her business and left.
A few days later, she received a handwritten note in the mail that stated that "posted on our front door is a sign that states restrooms are for Flood Zone customers only," and non-patrons must pay a $5 charge.
Barnes said in her haste she had missed the sign, which was also posted on the restroom mirror describing the fee. “It was a little index card at the very bottom of the mirror,” she told the 'Today" show. "I didn't look in the mirror at all that day.” She said she learned about the fee when an employee brought it to her attention as she was leaving -- which she didn't pay.
So the restaurant wrote down her license plate number, and had the sheriff trace it to its owner. Barnes says she went back to the restaurant and offered to pay the $5 --and after they refused to accept it, even sent a certified money order that came back in the mail.
The owner reportedly said she didn't want the money after all and that she only wanted to make a point -- of course, at the expense of law enforcement resources.