A SYDNEY couple feel they have been burnt by Ballina's McDonald's store when it charged them $2.50 for a small amount of hot water.
Renee French said she wanted some hot water to warm food for her eight-month-old baby, but was told at the store she had to be charged $2.50 for legal reasons.
Tuesday a media spokeswoman for McDonald's Australia said the price asked was that for a cup of tea.
"The way you buy our tea is you buy a cup of hot water and the tea is available for anyone," she said.
McDonald's Ballina franchisee Scott Campbell said he has since spoken to Ms French and sent her a voucher for future use in the store, apologising for a misunderstanding.
He said staff had tried to follow policy but, for "an inch of water" they "probably should have used some common sense".
Mrs French said she was astounded when they encountered the $2.50 fee for hot water.
She said the incident left the family "with a very sour taste in our mouths".
Inquiries by The Northern Star found some shopping centres provide parents' rooms with microwaves for heating bottles.
In Lismore yesterday quite a few mums and bubs took refuge from the wet weather at PlayQuest, a dedicated cafe and indoor play centre for children off Carrington Street, with most mothers saying it was important to be prepared for outings with their children.
Ela Goulding of Dunoon said her main gripe was the lack of public toilets in Lismore.
Mrs Goulding and friend Rita Thurgood of Lismore agreed it was necessary to be prepared and take food with them that did not need to be heated.
"You need to take basic sandwiches and fruit with you," said Mrs Thurgood.
"It's more difficult when the children are newborn to six months and you need to go somewhere to heat up the bottle.."
WHAT WOULD YOU PAY FOR "AN INCH OF WATER"? Leave a comment below.