The Hilton in Sydney has added them. We were in a Club room so maybe they thought we were riff raff. A bit of a 'to-do' when a charge for nuts which we hadn't eaten came up on the bill. On ringing, we were told that we must have taken them out of the cradle - ah, no, did not touch them. This insistence went on for some time before the charge was removed. The sign on the nibbles (the box sits on the desk) is hidden on one end (very sneaky) so I can see that it would be easy to pick up the chips or whatever to look and incur a charge. IMO installing auto-charging mini bars is just another tacky move from Hilton.
I totally agree. This automatic charge system is just another scam to make life easier for hotels by charging money first and refund later if people find any mistakes.
In this way they don't need to chase anyone for unpaid items from the mini-bar (which in many cases the items were not there in the first place), they simply automatically add them to the bill and make people chase them. It's the opposite of customer service!