Monday, 2 January 2017

Service charge by hotels/restaurants not mandatory: Govt

New Delhi:
Most restaurants add a service charge to the bill, which also includes service tax and value added.

If you eat out and are not happy with the service, you can refuse to pay the service fee that's automatically tacked on to your bill by many restaurants.

The government has clarified that the service charge -which ranges from 5 to 20 percent and is added to bills instead of tips - cannot be mandatorily applied by restaurants. The Departrment of Consumer Affairs said the automatic applying of a service fee violates fair trade practices.

"Restaruants (sic) are billing service charges in addition to taxes. Service charge is optional. Consumer has a discretion to pay or not," tweeted Consumer Affairs and Food Minister Ram Vilas Paswan.

The Hotel Association of India has confirmed that  "the service charge is completely discretionary and should a customer be dissatisfied with the dining experience he/she can have it waived off. Therefore, it is deemed to be accepted voluntarily" according to a statement by the government.

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