SERVICE CHARGES NO MORE MANDATORY TO PAY, DOES IT MAKE YOU BETTER OFF?
To pay or not to pay?
Recently, the government issued a statement regarding the service charges charged by restaurants and hotels. The new law states that now service charge is not mandatory for the customers to pay , they can refuse to pay for it if they don’t like the services. However their is no change in the service tax charged which is 15%. The consumer affairs minister issued a statement regarding the same stating the some restaurants and hotels charge the consumers 5-20 percent of service charges which is more than the desired 6%.
The statement of the ministry received mixed reactions from people . The customers believed the step to be a great relief seeing how expensive eating out has become these days . Another allegation that the people have put forward is that they were forced to pay high services charges even when services were not up to standards . At the same time some of the buffets also charged the customers for services. Some of the staff members at the restaurant accept that the service charge which is meant for them is not given to them at all. It’s an added gain to the owners. While the restaurant owners said that this will invite unnecessary fight with the customers to pay the charges as they will refuse to pay even though services are good. Also they feel that service charges are in place so that customers don’t have to pay tips and not bother the hotel staff standing on their heads for it.
Seeing the present condition one can predict the state of dilemma amongst the consumers to pay or to not pay the service charges. Surely it may bring a sort of awkwardness between the owners and the customers . While the government has issued that any restaurants or hotel who are caught charging for services even when the customers are reluctant to pay them , they can be penalised under the consumer protection act. At the moment it is hard to forecast how things go .