Display ‘Service charge is voluntary’, Delhi govt asks eateries

RSTV Bureau

arvindkejriwal2In a significant move to crack a whip on hotels and restaurants forcing consumers to pay service charge, the Delhi government has issued instructions to all eateries to put a placard on their premises stating – ‘Service charge is voluntary’.

In January this year, the Consumer Affairs Ministry had made it clear that service charge on a food bill was not compulsory and a customer can choose to have it waived off if not satisfied with the experience.

But, there were complaints that some restaurants and hotels in the city were making all customers pay service charges whether or not they were satisfied with the service.

Firming up the implementation, Delhi government has now asked eateries across the capital to follow the new order.

“The department of excise, entertainment and luxury tax has issued instructions to hotels and restaurants in the city to display at the appropriate place in their premises that service charges are discretionary and voluntary,” a senior government official said.

“A customer, who is dissatisfied with the services, can have it waived off,” the officer added.

The official also told that strict action will be taken against violators, adding that the consumer can make a complaint against such “unfair trade practices”.

(With inputs from PTI)