Are you still paying the service charge on your food bills at the restaurants? If yes, then you surely need to give this article a look. In a recent update on the ongoing 'service charge' row, the Centre and the Central Consumer Protection Authority (CCPA) informed the Delhi High Court that hotels and restaurants are still collecting service charges, even after receiving the guidelines on banning the levy. The Centre further stated that the customers are unwillingly paying the extra charge, even if they are dissatisfied with the service.
"It was noticed that restaurants and hotels were openly flouting the guidelines and collecting service charges from consumers involuntarily, even when they were dissatisfied with the services," the application read. It further stated that after the July guidelines were issued, 1105 more complaints were registered by consumers on the National Consumer Helpline about the unfair levy of service charges by hotels and restaurants.
During the hearing on this matter, Delhi High Court further issued guidelines for the ban, making it easy for both the customers and restaurant owners to follow. A few of the conditions set by the Delhi High Court are as followed:
- The restaurants have to prominently display the service charge components in the price of the food.
- Restaurants will not charge service charges on takeaway/delivery of food.
- The counsel had also said that various complaints were received that restaurants were restraining consumers who were not paying the service charge. "It is a matter of choice. Don't enter the restaurant if you don't want to pay," the High Court states.
Earlier, the guidelines were challenged by the National Restaurant Association of India (NRAI). "These petitions have been fixed for November 25, 2022," a PTI report reads.