If you often dine out then the New Year comes with a great news for you. Now you won’t have to pay service charge which is often automatically added to your bill in many restaurants if you are not satisfied or happy with the service.
The government has made it clear that from now a customer can refuse to pay the service charge if the person is not happy or satisfied about the service offered and the dining experience. The government took this step in the wake of number of complaints from consumers that they are being forced to pay service charge in the range of 5 to 20 % in the name of tips without considering the dining experience or satisfaction of the person.
The Consumer Protection Act, 1986 stipulates that a trade practice which, for the purpose of promoting the sale, use or the supply of any goods or for the provision of any service, adopts any unfair method or deceptive practice, is to be treated as an unfair trade practice and that a consumer can make a complaint to the appropriate consumer forum established under the Act against such unfair trade practices.
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.
State governments have been asked to ensure that restaurants and hotels are made aware of the new policy and that notices must be put up informing customers that service charge is discretionary and can be waived for an unhappy customer.
So next time if you are dining out at any restaurant and you’re not happy with the experience, remember, you have the right to say no and waive of the service charge which has been added to your bill.