Shillong(Meghalaya), Oct 25 : The Deputy Commissioner, East Khasi Hills has informed that the Central Consumer Protection Authority (CCPA) has recently issued guidelines under Section 18(2)(1) of the Consumer Protection Act, 2019 to prevent unfair trade practices and to protect consumer interest with regard to levy of service charge in hotels and restaurants.
The guidelines stipulate that:-
1. No hotel or restaurant shall add service charge automatically or by default in the food bill.
2. No collection of service charge shall be done by any other name.
3. 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 the consumer’s discretion.
4. No restriction of entry or provision of services based on collection of service charge shall be imposed on consumers.
5. Service charge shall not be collected by adding it along with food bill and levying GST on the total amount.
6. Under Section 17 of the Act, a complaint relating to violation of the guidelines by hotels/restaurants, violation of consumer rights or unfair trade practices which is prejudicial to the interests of consumers as a class may be forwarded in writing or in electronic mode to the Deputy Commissioner for investigation and subsequent processing by the CCPA.
As per instruction of the Chief Commissioner, Central Consumer Protection Authority (CCPA) dated 6th July, 2022, necessary action will be taken on complaints that may be submitted by consumers on violation of the aforementioned guidelines.
This is issued for general public information and in public interest. The Deputy Commissioner also informed that a copy of the said guidelines is available on the District website, East Khasi Hills District.
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