The management company of a residential building in Kunming recently put up a notice saying that each person trying access the restaurants on the upper floors must pay five yuan to ride the elevator. Most of the patrons to these restaurants are children who attend a primary school nearby.
The restaurants, called Xiaofanzhuo, are located on the 5th, 20th and 22nd floors of the building and are meant to serve students at the primary school during lunchtime. Because there are so many people to accommodate, many of the students and parents who don’t want to pay every time they go up and down the elevator must climb all the way to the 22nd floor, China News reports. The exhausting hike is too much for some of the primary school kids, who sometimes end up in tears by the time they reach the 20th floor.
“To charge like this is too ridiculous,” one of the parents said.
The management office claims that they set the charge because the frequent use of the lift by the students and parents greatly increases maintenance fees.
Regardless, police in the area said that the restaurant owners shouldn’t even be doing business in the building, as it poses safety risks to students and disturbs the residents living there.
“The problem isn’t whether or not a fee should be charged. It was actually done to shoo the restaurants out of the building,” police said.
An official at the Kunming Price Control Administration said that the property management fee doesn’t include maintenance costs for the elevators, so charging the students and parents is legal. There’s just no regulation about how much of a charge is reasonable.
“We can’t decide whether the charge is too much until evaluation of the situation. We suggest that negotiation be conducted among parents, the restaurants and the management office,” said the official. Following initial negotiation between the restaurants and the management office the fee has, for now, been cancelled.
By Dina Li