Service Charge Not Mandatory: Many a times after having lunch or dinner or taking any food from the hotel, the restaurants owners levy service charge, apart from the taxes. Often we have to pay even if the service is not at all good and below satisfaction. In View of this, the Central Government on Monday said that any hotel billing service charges in addition to taxes is optional and the consumers has discretion to pay service charge or not.
This could be good news for many who take constant food outside and has to pay service charge, which is often from 5 percent to 20 percent of the food bill, which even many customers even have complained of. Now up to customers satisfaction if they want to pay the service charge or not. Why to pay if you are not satisfied by the service at the hotel.
The Department of Consumer Affairs asked in a notification to the states to advise all the Hotels and Restaurants to show information through display at the appropriate place in the hotels and restaurants, regarding the service charges are discretionary and voluntary. Any consumer of food at the hotel has full rights whether to pay or not.
A customer can choose to waive off the service charge if he is not satisfied with the service on the food bill, the government said.
The department of Consumer Affairs also took clarification from the Hotel Association of India, which replied that "service charge is completely discretionary and should a customer be dissatisfied with the dining experience, he/she can have it waived off. Therefore, it is deemed to be accepted voluntarily."
The Consumer Protection Act, 1986, states that, law provides a trade practice for promoting of the sale, use or the supply of any goods or for the provision of any service, adopts any unfair method or deceptive practice, is to be treated as an unfair trade practice and a consumer can make a complaint to the appropriate consumer forum against such unfair trade practices.
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