CCPA issues Guidelines to prohibit automatic levy of service charge in hotels and restaurants

On 04-07-2022, the Central Consumer Protection Authority (‘CCPA’) has issued Guidelines to prevent unfair trade practices and to protect the consumer interest with regard to levy of service charge in hotels and restaurants.

 

Key points:

  • No hotel or restaurant shall add service charge automatically or by default in the bill.
  • Service charge shall not be collected from consumers by any other name.
  • No hotel or restaurant shall force a consumer to pay service charge and shall clearly inform the consumer that service charge is voluntary, optional and at consumer’s discretion.
  • No restriction on entry or provision of services based on collection of service charge shall be imposed on consumers.
  • Service charge shall not be collected by adding it along with the food bill and levying GST on the total amount.
  • If a hotel or restaurant is found levying service charge, a consumer may: –
    1. Make a request to the concerned hotel or restaurant to remove service charge from the bill amount.
    2. Lodge a complaint on the National Consumer Helpline (NCH).
    3. File a complaint against unfair trade practice with the Consumer Commission.
    4. The Complaint can also be filed electronically through e-daakhil portal www.e-daakhil.nic.in for its speedy and effective redressal.
    5. Submit a complaint to the District Collector of the concerned district for investigation and subsequent proceeding by the CCPA. The complaint may also be sent to the CCPA by e-mail at com-ccpa@nic.in.

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