PANAJI: The Department of Civil Supplies and Consumer Affairs, to prevent unfair trade practices and protect the interests of consumers regarding the collection of service charges in hotels and restaurants, informed that under the Section 17 of the Consumer Protection Act 2019, a complaint relating to infringement of consumer rights or unfair trading practices detrimental to the interests of the consumer as a class may be submitted in writing or through the electronic mode of the district collector.
In addition, the District Collector is empowered to investigate such complaints and submit his report to the Central Authority.
Under Section 18(2)(1) of the Act, the Central Consumer Protection Authority has issued guidelines aimed at preventing unfair commercial practices and protecting the interests of consumers with regard to the collection service charges in hotels and restaurants.
To prevent unfair commercial practices and protect the interests of consumers regarding the collection of service charges, the Central Consumer Protection Authority publishes the following guidelines;
* No hotel or restaurant should automatically or default add a service charge to the bill.
* Service fees will not be collected from consumers under any other name.
* No hotel or restaurant will force a consumer to pay a service charge and will clearly inform the consumer that the service charge is voluntary, optional and at the discretion of the consumer.
* No restrictions on entry or provision of services based on charging service fees will be imposed on consumers.
* The service charge will not be collected by adding it to the food bill and deducting GST from the total amount.
In case of violation, consumers can submit their complaints to the District Collector, who will investigate or investigate the same and submit his report to the central authority.
The consumer may lodge a complaint with the National Consumer Helpline (NCH), 1915 and State Consumer Helpline No. 2236758, 1800-11-4000. The consumer can lodge a complaint against unfair commercial practices with the consumer commission. Complaint can also be filed electronically via e-daakhil portal www.edaakhil.nic.in for quick and efficient redress. The Consumer may submit a complaint to the Collective of the district concerned for investigation. Complaint can also be sent to CCPA via email to email@example.com.