Amid rising consumer complaints, the Central Consumer Protection Authority (CCPA) on Monday barred hotels and restaurants from levying service charge automatically or by default in food bills and allowed customers to file complaints in case of violation.
The CCPA has issued guidelines for prevent ing unfair trade practices and violation of consumer rights with regard to levying of service charge.
There should not be any col lection of service charge by any other name, it added. No hotel or restaurant can force a con sumer to pay service charge. They have to clearly inform the consumer that service charge is voluntary, optional and at con sumer’s discretion.
“No restric tion on entry or provision of services based on collection of service charge shall be imposed on consumers,” the guideline added.