CCPA Service Charge Guidelines: Amid rising consumer complaints, the Central Consumer Protection Authority (CCPA) on Monday issued guidelines regarding the service charges in bills put by hotels and restaurants. With the guidelines, the government clarified that the service charge is completely illegal in India. Zee Business first reported the service charge news on June 14. The impact of the campaign is now visible. Zee Business Ambarish Pandey’s report.
According to the report, the CCPA has issued guidelines for preventing unfair trade practices and violation of consumer rights with regard to levying of service charges in hotels and restaurants.
The guidelines issued by CCPA stipulate that hotels/restaurants shall not add service charge automatically or by default in the food bill. No collection of service charge shall be done by any other name, the guidelines said.
No hotel or restaurant shall force a consumer to pay service charge and shall clearly inform the consumer that service charge is voluntary, optional and at consumer’s discretion. No restriction on entry or provision of services based on collection of service charge shall be imposed on consumers.
The service charge shall not be collected by adding it along with the food bill and levying GST on the total amount. The guidelines can be accessed by clicking on the link.
If any consumer finds that a hotel or restaurant is levying service charge in violation to the guidelines, a consumer may:-
– Make a request to the concerned hotel or restaurant to remove service charge from the bill amount.
– Lodge a complaint on the National Consumer Helpline (NCH), which works as an alternate dispute redressal mechanism at the pre-litigation level by calling 1915 or through the NCH mobile app.
– File a complaint against unfair trade practice with the Consumer Commission. The Complaint can also be filed electronically through e-daakhil portal www.e-daakhil.nic.in for its speedy and effective redressal.
– Submit a complaint to the District Collector of the concerned district for investigation and subsequent proceeding by the CCPA. The complaint may also be sent to the CCPA by e-mail at [email protected].