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Analysis: Is it optional to pay charges for hotel services?

Analysis: Is it optional to pay charges for hotel services?

Customers are forced to pay arbitrarily fixed charges for services and exorbitant restaurant and hotel prices.

restaurant with service charge
Whether or not to pay the service charge is a voluntary decision of the client (representative photo)

-Chinmay Patankar

If you go to restaurants and hotels, you will see that there is a service charge in the payment. However, the Department of Consumer Affairs has called a meeting with restaurant owners on June 2 in the event that consumers are forced to pay arbitrary service charges and exorbitant prices by restaurants and hotels. . In this sense, it is necessary to consult the provisions of the Consumer Protection Law in relation to charges for services charged by restaurants and hoteliers and the rights of consumers.

What exactly is the case?
Secretary for Consumer Affairs Rohit Kumar Singh sent a letter to the National Restaurant Association of India. In it, he mentions that restaurants and hotels are imposing service charges on customers. In fact, it is up to the customer to decide whether or not he pays the service fee. Service charges are set arbitrarily by restaurants and hotels. When the customer requests that the fee be deducted from the payment, it misleads that the fee is legal. As this type is related to the daily life of consumers and affects the rights of consumers, the department feels the need to conduct a thorough investigation on it.

What topics will be discussed at the meeting?
According to the department’s letter, the June 2 meeting will discuss four main issues related to the imposition of service charges by restaurants. These include restaurants being forced to pay service charges to customers, listing any other charges as service charges, withholding information from customers as to whether service charges are optional or not, and insulting customers if they refuse to pay service charges.

What are the exact rules regarding service charges?
The Department of Consumer Affairs had published guidelines on service charges in April 2017. Consequently, the fact that a customer walks into a restaurant does not mean that he or she is authorized to pay a service fee. The Consumer Protection Law prohibits the entry of a customer on the condition of paying a service charge or otherwise preventing the customer from paying the service charge. The customer places his order according to the tax mentioned in the menu card. At that time he agrees to pay at the rate reported there. Apart from this, the law clearly states that it is an unfair business practice to charge any other type of fee to the client without her permission. The guidelines state that the law provides that the consumer has the right to be represented and redressed in respect of unfair or unfair business practices. It is also clarified that, in this regard, the consumer can apply for redress from the Consumer Complaints Redress Commission / Forum under the jurisdiction of the jurisdiction in question.

Is there freedom of service?
Since the service charges are included in the direct payment, it is often not noticed by the customer. The details of the amount mentioned in the payment received at the restaurant are often not seen. However, if a customer refuses to pay the service fee in accordance with the details, the waiver is binding on the restaurant operators. Often the case goes to fights, rarely to Hamritumari. Customers are also often publicly insulted by restaurant staff. People who go out as a family also suffer more. The client took on the role of denying payment for the service, saying he was falsely told that there was a provision in the law. In fact, there is no such provision in the law. Rather, it is more appropriate to warn the customer before charging such a service charge. In fact, hoteliers often charge customers for fraudulent services.

What do restaurant operators have to say?
According to restaurant operators, there is a provision to impose a maximum service charge of 10 percent. This amount is distributed among the employees who work in the restaurant. Employees sometimes expect a reward from the customer in addition to the payment amount. They are often stubborn about it. This puts undue pressure on the customer. Therefore, including service charges in the payment itself solves many problems. This fee is a kind of employee welfare plan.

What are the key points of the meeting?
In The meeting on June 2 will be on four topics. Restaurant operators impose service charges, sometimes under other titles, the customer is not informed that they are not allowed to pay these charges, and therefore the meeting will be held on the subject of insulting the customer.

Website title: Paying or not paying the service charge in restaurants: what government guidelines say print exp scsg

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