Restaurants waiving off service charge? (Pic Courtesy: Quora)
Restaurants waiving off service charge? (Pic Courtesy: Quora)

Are you fond of eating out at your favourite restaurants quite frequently? Well, here’s a good news for you as far as the extra taxes are concerned. Did you know that the service charge is now not a compulsion to pay? Yes, you read it right.

In what can be definitely seen as a relief for the consumers, the Department of Consumer Affairs said that it is now optional to pay the service charges in restaurants. The move came in the wake of a number of complaints that the hotels and restaurants are charging service fee in the range of 5-20% which the customers are forced to pay, irrespective of the kind of service they get.

In a notification, the Department of Consumer Affairs asked the states to advise the hotels and restaurants to clarify through display at proper places in the hotels that the service charges are voluntary and a customer, who is dissatisfied with the services, can have it waived off.

The Hotel Association of India have also clarified that service charge is completely discretionary and deemed it to be accepted voluntarily.

According to the reports doing rounds, ‘The Consumer Protection Act, 1986 stipulates that a trade practice which, for the purpose of promoting 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 that a consumer can make a complaint to the appropriate consumer forum established under the Act against such unfair trade practices.’

Good news, ehh?

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