Hotels, Restaurants Banned From Charging Service Charges – Here’s How To File A Complaint If They Do
The Central Consumer Protection Authority (CCPA) on Monday banned hotels and restaurants from levying service charges on customers and issued guidelines in this regard to prevent unfair business practices and protect consumers’ interests.
-No restaurant or hotel should add a service charge automatically or by default in the bill
-Service charges should not be collected from consumers under any other name.
-No restaurant or hotel should force a customer to pay a service charge and should clearly inform the consumer that this is voluntary, optional and at the consumer’s discretion.
-No restrictions on entry or provision of services based on levying service charges will be imposed on consumers.
-The service charge will not be collected by adding it to the food bill and charging the GST on the total amount.
What should consumers do if a service charge is levied?
If a consumer finds out that a restaurant or hotel is charging a service fee, they can take the following steps:
-Ask the hotel or restaurant concerned to deduct the service charge from the amount of the invoice.
-Submit a complaint to the National Consumer Helpline (NCH), which operates as an alternative dispute resolution mechanism at pre-litigation level, by calling 1915 or via the NCH mobile app.
– File a complaint against unfair commercial practices with the Consumer Commission. Complaint can also be filed electronically through the e-daakhil portal www.e-daakhil.nic.in.
-Submit a complaint to the District Collector for investigation and further action by the CCAC. Complaint can also be sent to CCPA via email at [email protected]
The CCPA, which was set up under the Consumer Protection Act 2019, issued the guidelines after noting numerous grievances registered with the NCH about restaurants and hotels levying service charges on consumers. .
“It is only after finishing the meal that a consumer is able to assess the quality and service, and decide whether or not to pay a tip or tip and, if so, how much The decision to pay time or a tip by a consumer does not arise simply by entering the restaurant or placing an order, therefore a service charge cannot be unintentionally added to the bill, without letting consumers the choice or discretion to decide whether they want to pay such fees or not,” the CCAC said in a statement that sets out the guidelines.
First post: STI