Did You Know – Service Charge is NOT Mandatory at Restaurants and Hotels?

Young woman with black glasses looking surprised

Yes, you read that right! It’s totally at your discretion to pay the service charge!

Last weekend one of our monks went to his college friend’s “New Job” party at a pub in Cyber Hub, Gurgaon. At the end of the party, the final most-not-awaited dish arrived – “The Bill” with service charge amounting to INR 400! His friend paid the bill and later on seeing the bill, our monk asked his friend, “Do you know that service charge is no more mandatory?”. His friend was totally unaware of this new rule passed by the government!

Old Bill edited

His friend then choose not to pay the service charge and all he had to do was – Ask! Ask for a new bill without the service charge. He was swiftly given a new bill and was returned the ~INR 400 service charge he had already paid.

New and Old Bill edited

That’s when it striked our monk, that many people might be unaware of this new rule! So we decided to write about it. Read on to know more…

Service charge not mandatory in India

Consumers have the “discretion to pay the service charge or not”, the Department of Consumer Affairs (DCA) said early this year, adding that the billing of service charge by restaurants in addition to taxes is optional.

This was implemented after the DCA received numerous complaints from consumers that they been charged ‘service charge’ in the range of 5-20%, and were forced to pay irrespective of the kind of service provided to them.

DCA has also asked Hotels and restaurants to disseminate information through a display system that the ‘service charges’ are discretionary or voluntary and a consumer can have them waived.

Maybe the GST buzz was so loud that such small but important information wasn’t passed on to all.

So next time you plan an event at a venue or dine out, you will be at liberty to not pay the service charge if you are not happy with the service or you just decide not to pay!

What do you feel about this rule? Right or wrong? Let all the readers know your views in the comment section below!

And to find an amazing venue for your upcoming event, visit VenueMonk!


Source: LiveMint TimesOfIndia IndianExpress

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