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Service charge is an unfair trade practice – Union Minister for Consumer Affairs

10-1441884102-ramvilaspaswanThe Union Minister for Consumer Affairs, Ram Vilas Paswan of the Narendra Modi led Union Government hass said that levying service charge on food and drinks in restaurants is an unfair trade practice. He said that consumers should not pay this.

There is no mention of any law that actually allows anyone to take action against the erring hotels and restaurants, but a consumer can refuse to pay the charge if he is not informed in advance. But, if the restaurant has informed the consumers or it has been written in the menu card, the guest has the option of choosing another restaurant.

The Minister has said that the new Consumer Protection Bill will handle such cases with the setting up of an indpendent regulator CCPA. This bill is expected to pass easily in this session. The reason the Minister has said that the charge is unfair as most of the restaurants do not inform people about this in advance and charge exorbitant rates in the end. The menu card should include prices with the service charge and other taxes. This has resulted in a lot of confusion for users.

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