Hotels, restaurants barred from levying service charge


 

The Central Consumer Protection Authority (CCPA) on Monday barred hotels and restaurants from levying service charge automatically or by default in food bills and allowed customers to file complaints in case of violation.

Amid rising complaints, the CCPA has issued guidelines for preventing unfair trade practices and violation of consumer rights with regard to levying of service charge.

As per the guidelines, “No hotels or restaurants shall add service charge automatically or by default in the bill.”

There should not be any collection of service charge by any other name, it added.

No hotel or restaurant can force a consumer to pay service charge. They have to clearly inform the consumer that service charge is voluntary, optional and at consumer’s discretion.