The Central Consumer Protection Authority (CCPA) has issued guidelines according to which hotels or restaurant shall not add service charge automatically or by default in the food bill.
No collection of service charge shall be done by any other name. No hotel or restaurant shall force a consumer to pay service charge and shall clearly inform the consumer that service charge is voluntary, optional and at consumer’s discretion. No restriction on entry or provision of services based on collection of service charge shall be imposed on consumers. Service charge shall not be collected by adding it along with the food bill and levying GST on the total amount.
Further, the government has also provided various helpline numbers in case any consumer finds that a hotel or restaurant is levying service charge in violation to the guidelines, may make a request to the concerned hotel or restaurant to remove service charge from the bill amount. Also, the consumer may lodge a complaint on the National Consumer Helpline (NCH by calling 1915 or through the NCH mobile app. The complaint can also be filed electronically through e-daakhil portal www.e-daakhil.nic.in