Service charge

Majority of consumers unhappy with High Court allowing service charge: survey

A majority of consumers are disappointed with the Delhi High Court’s decision to suspend recent government-issued guidelines prohibiting restaurants and hotels from levying service charges on food bills, according to a new survey by LocalCircles.

When asked about their current approach to visiting restaurants in the first survey, 70% of respondents revealed their intention to refuse to pay service charges or avoid restaurants that charge them. The survey had a total of 10,244 respondents.

While 20% of respondents plan to fight back and not pay the extra charge, 37% plan to avoid restaurants that charge a service charge and 13% plan to avoid eating out altogether, according to the survey. . However, 28% also expressed a willingness to pay service charges if they were part of the bill.

When asked if consumers had one or more experiences in the past five years where a service charge by an air-conditioned restaurant was levied but the service was below expectations, 71% said they had such an experience. . “Of those who had poor or poor service experiences, 23% said it happened once or twice, 18% said it happened three to five times and even worse, 24% of respondents revealed that this had happened up to 10 times, while 6% were among those who had suffered a poor service experience despite having service charges taken from the bill, more than 10 times,” the survey states. .

The survey received over 21,000 responses from consumers located in 291 districts of India. According to the survey, 44% of respondents were from Tier 1 cities, 33% from Tier 2, and 23% from Tier 3, 4 cities and rural districts. On July 4, the Central Consumer Protection Authority (CCPA) banned hotels and restaurants from automatically or by default levying service charges on food bills and allowed customers to file complaints for violations. The HC on July 20 suspended the guidelines.