posted by Gerard Magliocca
I was interested to read about a lawsuit that was recently filed against the Metropolitan Museum of Art alleging that the museum is engaged in deceptive business practices with respect to its “admission” fee. Access to the museum is essentially free. But the Museum posts admission fees of various sorts when you walk in. If you look carefully, then you’ll see that these are “recommended” donations. You must give something to enter the Met under a city ordinance, but you can give any amount that you want (such as $.01).
The problem is that lots of tourists (especially foreign tourists) do not know this. They think, upon seeing a list of admission fees, that these are mandatory. And the museum (trust me, I’ve been there many times) does not go out of its way to make things clear. Does this constitute fraud or violate state law? Do New Yorkers want to chime in?