Travelers in India, take note: you can SAY NO to service charge at hotels and restaurants!
Is it REALLY true? Oh yes it is, thanks to Consumer Protection Act, 1986.
After several complaints this week, the Indian government reminded the public about the act, which indicates that restaurants cannot mandatorily include service charge, ranging from 5-20%, on a patron’s bill.
If you think that the service charge is a service tax, it’s not. So you can refuse to pay it in India.
On Monday, the Department of Consumer Affairs declared service fee added by default violates fair trade practices. This came after restaurant employees and pubs have complained that service charge, in fact, are pocketed by the owners instead of being given to them.
For a long time, many locals have been dissatisfied with service fees on top of multiple taxes the Indian government already put in place. Without truly understanding the law, they didn’t know service fee was not a requirement.
From now, hotels and restaurants will need to ensure customers are aware of the law and the message is displayed so no one feels duped.
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