Hotels and restaurants will no longer be able to charge service charges from customers
Consumers can also register complaints, if required, by calling the National Consumer Helpline (NCH) number 1915. They can also file a complaint regarding this with the Consumer Commission.
The Central Consumer Protection Authority (CCPA) has issued new guidelines for hotels and restaurants. As per the new rule, hotels or restaurants will not automatically add service charges to the food bill. The service charge is voluntary/optional and at the discretion of the consumer. For unfair treatment of service charges, consumers can lodge a complaint on the number 1915.
The CCPA issued the guidelines under Section 18(2)(I) of the Consumer Protection Act 2019. As per the guidelines, no hotel or restaurant will automatically add service charge to the bill. Also, no service charge will be levied by any other name. It states that no hotel or restaurant can compel customers to pay service charge. Customer can pay service charge if he wants. This will be completely voluntary, optional and at the discretion of the consumer. As per the guidelines, no restriction shall be imposed on the consumers for entry or services on the basis of collection of service charge.
If a consumer finds that the hotel or restaurant is charging service charge in violation of the guidelines, he can request the concerned entity to remove it from the bill amount.