The department of consumer affairs on the New Year day announced that there is no need to pay the service charge at restaurants and it is not mandatory from now. The customer can choose whether or not to pay a service charge in restaurants.

As we know, many restaurants are taking service charges in addition to the taxes and now it is optional, and a person can pay if he/she interested or refuse to pay it if they aren’t happy. There is no right to the restaurant to force the customers for paying service tax, said by Government.

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The Department of Consumers Affairs has also asked state Governments to guide hotels and restaurants to provide the message to customers. The department has issued a notification mentioned that to advise the restaurants to spread information through a display at the visible place in the hotels that the “service charges” are optional and unpaid and a consumer dissatisfied with the services can have it ignored off.

The latest initiative came after taking many complaints from the people that hotels are following “Service Charge” in the range of 5-20 percent in the form of tips, which a consumer is forced to pay regardless of the kind of service provided to him.

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So, following the complaints the ‘department of consumers affairs’ called for clarification from the Hotel Association of India. The Consumer Protection Act, 1986 runs that a trade practice which, for the purpose of promoting the sale, use or the supply of any goods or for the delivery of any service, accepts any imbalanced method or misleading run-through is to be treated as unfair trade practice and that a customer can able to make a complaint to the appropriate consumer forum established under the Act against such unfair trade performs.


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