End of the service charge era? CCPA declares Restaurants cannot add service charge anymore

Consumers can now ask the concerned hotel/restaurant to remove the service charge from the bill amount, if added any

CCPA plays the role of a pain reliever to the consumers who were earlier bound to pay service charges at a hotel/restaurant despite having poor services. Now, customers won’t be levied the charges automatically or by default by the eateries as CCPA gives the nod.
“No collection of service charge shall be done by any other name or no hotel or restaurant shall force a consumer to pay service charge and shall clearly inform the consumer that service charge is voluntary, optional and at consumer’s discretion,” CCPA wrote in its order.

It also stated that there will be no entry restrictions or service provision based on the service charge collection shall be imposed on consumers. “Service charge shall not be collected by adding it along with the food bill and levying GST on the total amount,” it stated.
On the other hand, the CCPA advisory reads, “If any consumer finds that a hotel or restaurant is levying service charge in violation to the guidelines, a consumer may make a request to the concerned hotel or restaurant to remove service charge from the bill amount. Also, the consumer may lodge a complaint on the National Consumer Helpline (NCH), which works as an alternate dispute redressal mechanism at the pre-litigation level by calling 1915 or through the NCH mobile app.”

It further added, “The consumer may also file a complaint against unfair trade practice with the Consumer Commission. The complaint can also be filed electronically through e-daakhil portal www.e-daakhil.nic.in for its speedy and effective redressal. Furthermore, the consumer may submit a complaint to the District Collector of the concerned district for investigation and subsequent proceeding by the CCPA. The complaint may also be sent to the CCPA by e-mail at com-ccpa@nic.in.”

More about CCPA’s declaration:
The ministry of consumer affairs, food, & public distribution, added, “Various cases relating to levying of service charge have also been decided by consumer commissions in favour of consumers, holding the same as an unfair trade practice and in violation of consumer rights,” as they have registered cases where restaurants are leaving service charges to consumers forcefully.

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