Service Charge Rules News: Soon you can see a change in the service charge of hotels and restaurants in the country. The central government will prepare a strong and robust framework to investigate this charge levied in restaurants and hotels. The Consumer Department (DoCA) has held talks with the stakeholders regarding this matter. At the same time, the department will prepare a strong framework for its strict compliance.
The government believes that lakhs of customers are being affected daily by this. And in terms of future, if it is not strictly enforced from now on, then their problems will also increase. The consumer department held a meeting with restaurant associations and consumer organizations on Thursday regarding this. It was presided over by Rohit Kumar Singh, Secretary, DOCA.
How much is the service charge?
The meeting was attended by leading restaurant associations including National Restaurant Association of India (NRAI) and Federation of Hotel and Restaurant Association of India (FHRAI) and consumer organizations including Mumbai Grahak Panchayat, Pushpa Girimaji etc. During the meeting, issues related to service charges were raised by the consumers on the National Consumer Helpline related to service charges.
It also discussed about the mandatory collection of service charge i.e. service charge, adding it by default without the consent of the consumer. Such charges are optional and voluntary. But if consumers oppose it, then pressure is created on them.
Therefore, the consent of the consumer is necessary.
Restaurant associations found that when a service charge is included in the menu, it includes the consumer’s consent to pay the charge. This fee is used by the restaurant/hotel to pay the employees. The special thing is that this charge is not taken for the food served.
At the same time, consumer organizations have found that levying service charges is completely arbitrary. The legality of such charge was also questioned. This was discussed as there is no bar on the restaurant/hotel to fix the prices of their food which includes additional charges in the name of service charges. In such a situation, such efforts are going to harm the rights of the customers.
Since it affects millions of consumers on a daily basis. As such, the department will soon come up with a robust framework to ensure strict compliance by the stakeholders.