The Central Consumer Protection Authority (CCPA) announced rules on Monday to protect consumer interests in relation to the levying of service charge in restaurants and hotels, which is a significant move. In accordance with the regulations, consumers can now call 1915 to file a complaint if their rights have been violated. Notably, the CCPA was founded by the government in July 2020 under The Consumer Protection Act, 2019 with the intention of defending, promoting, and upholding consumer rights and punishing those who violate them.
India bans service charge at hotels and restaurants
Regarding the collection of service charges by hotels and restaurants, the authority has issued five major guidelines. The CCPA has advised hotels and restaurants not to bill for service charges automatically or by default. Additionally, it stated that service charges should not be introduced under different identities.
It was also stated that no hotel or restaurant could force customers to pay a service fee. Additionally, they must inform the customer that the service fee is optional. The guidelines also state that businesses like hotels and restaurants are not permitted to add service charges to customer bills and charge GST on the total.
Consumers, however, also have a variety of choices if they discover a service charge on their bill. They can start by asking the hotel or restaurant to take the service charge off the final bill.
By calling 1915 or using the NCH app, they can also file a complaint with the National Consumer Helpline (NCH). Additionally, they may lodge a complaint through http://www.edaakhil.nic.in, the edaakhil site. In addition to these, they may approach the district collector of the involved district to inquire about the situation before the CCPA takes action. The official email address, firstname.lastname@example.org, can also be used for direct email contact.