- Hotels and restaurants are not permitted to add a service charge to meal bills automatically or by default.
- The National Consumer Helpline number 1915 has been introduced as a place for customers to complain violations, according to the CCPA.
- Additionally, they can complain to the Consumer Commission.
The Central Consumer Protection Authority (CCPA) ruled on Monday that hotels and restaurants cannot add a service charge automatically or by default to food bills. The CCPA also stated that customers can complain about hotels and restaurants that charge service fees by contacting the National Consumer Helpline at 1915.
The CCPA has released guidelines for combating unfair practices and violations of consumer rights in relation to the implementation of service charges in response to increases in complaints, according to news agency PTI.
According to the rules, “No hotels or restaurants are allowed to automatically or by default include a service charge in the bill.”
It further said that service charges should not be collected under any other names.
No hotel or eatery has the right to demand a service charge from a customer. They must explicitly tell the customer that the service charge is optional, voluntary, and up to them to decide whether to pay it.
The guideline stated: “No restriction on entry or provision of services based on a collection of service charge shall be imposed on consumers.”
Furthermore, the service charge cannot be collected by including it in the food bill and then adding GST to the overall price.
Any customer can ask the concerned establishment to remove the service charge from the bill amount if they discover that a hotel or restaurant is charging one in violation of the rules.
Call 1915 or use the NCH mobile app to file a complaint with the National Consumer Helpline (NCH), which serves as an alternative dispute redressal mechanism prior to litigation.
They also have the choice to file a complaint with the Consumer Commission.