No service cost by default, Govt tells motels & eating places

THE CENTRAL Shopper Safety Authority (CCPA) on Monday barred motels and eating places from including service cost “mechanically or by default” within the meals invoice. It mentioned that in case of violation, a client can ask the lodge/ restaurant to take away the service cost, or search redressal by submitting a grievance.

“The rules issued by CCPA stipulate that motels or eating places shall not add service cost mechanically or by default within the meals invoice. No assortment of service cost shall be carried out by another title,” the Union Ministry of Shopper Affairs, Meals and Public Distribution mentioned in a press release.

“No lodge or restaurant shall drive a client to pay service cost and shall clearly inform the patron that service cost is voluntary, optionally available and at client’s discretion,” it mentioned.

The ministry specified that there needs to be no restriction on entry or provision of providers based mostly on assortment of service expenses. “Service cost shall not be collected by including it together with the meals invoice and levying GST on the full quantity,” it mentioned.

“If any client finds {that a} lodge or restaurant is levying service cost in violation to the rules, a client could make a request to the involved lodge or restaurant to take away service cost from the invoice quantity,” it mentioned.

“Additionally, the patron could lodge a grievance on the Nationwide Shopper Helpline (NCH), which works as an alternate dispute redressal mechanism on the pre-litigation degree, by calling 1915 or by way of the NCH cellular app,” it mentioned. “The patron can also file a grievance towards unfair commerce practices with the Shopper Fee,” it mentioned.

In keeping with the rules issued by the CCPA for “stopping unfair commerce practices and violation of client rights with regard to levying of service expenses in motels and eating places”, shoppers can file complaints on-line, by way of e-daakhil portal (www.e-daakhil. As well as, they’ll submit a grievance to the district collector for investigation and subsequent proceedings by the CCPA. The shoppers may also e mail their complaints to the CCPA at [email protected].

“Various complaints have been registered within the Nationwide Shopper Helpline (NCH) by shoppers with regard to levying of service expenses,” mentioned the ministry’s assertion. “The problems raised by shoppers embrace eating places making service cost obligatory and including it within the invoice by default, suppressing that paying such cost is optionally available and voluntary, and embarrassing shoppers in case they resist paying service cost,” it mentioned.

“Numerous circumstances referring to levying of service expenses have additionally been determined by client commissions in favor of shoppers, holding the identical as an unfair commerce observe and in violation of client rights,” it added.

At a gathering with the Middle on June 2, representatives of the lodge and restaurant trade had mentioned that levying service cost was a “matter of particular person coverage” and there was “no illegality in levying such a cost”. Following the assembly, Piyush Goyal, Union Minister of Shopper Affairs, Meals and Public Distribution, had mentioned that eating places can’t ask clients to pay “hidden expenses”.