Service charge

Attention restaurants! Government provides update on complaints over pub and hotel service charges

Attention restaurants! Government provides update on complaints over service charges from pubs, hotels and nbsp | Photo credit: Representative image

The Union Department of Consumer Food and Public Supply’s National Consumer Helpline received 81 complaints about the collection of service charges by hotels, restaurants and pubs in 2020 .

The ministry, in a statement on Tuesday, said all such complaints have been forwarded to the respective outlets for proper redress. The institutions’ response has been forwarded to the complainants, he added.

“During 2020, 81 complaints related to the collection of service charges by restaurants, pubs and hotels were received by the National Consumer Helpline. All complaints have been taken with the respective hotels and restaurants for proper redress. The response received from hotels, restaurants was then forwarded to the complainants,” the statement added.

In April 2017, the government issued guidelines on fair business practices related to the charging of service fees to the consumer by hotels or restaurants. In accordance with these guidelines, service charges are optional and their payment is entirely at the discretion of consumers.

In a circular dated April 21, 2017, the Department of Consumer, Food and Public Distribution had advised state governments to educate businesses, hotels and restaurants in their jurisdictions about the provisions relating to commercial practices unfair consumer protection law and to disseminate information by posting in appropriate places in hotels/restaurants that “service charges” are discretionary/voluntary and that a consumer dissatisfied with the services may give it up.

The Consumer Protection Act 2019 provides for a three-tier quasi-judicial mechanism called Consumer Commissions at the central, state and district levels and consumers can approach district commissions for redress of collection related grievances. service charges by hotels and restaurants.

The information was given in a written response by Union Minister of State for Consumption, Food and Public Distribution, Danve Raosaheb Dadarao to Lok Sabha today.