So, next time you go out for lunch or dinner, have your food and check your bill. It’s very likely that you won’t find a ‘Service Charge’ in it. If you do, tell the restaurant staff that it is no longer valid. The Central Government has made it optional for the consumers. This means that if you don’t want to pay the additional ‘Service Charge”, added to the ‘Service Tax’, you don’t have to do it.
The Department of Consumer Affairs in a notification yesterday, 2nd January 2017, asked the States and Union Territories to “Advise the Hotels and Restaurants to disseminate information through display at appropriate places in Hotels and Restaurants that the ‘Service Charges’ are discretionary and voluntary and a consumer dissatisfied with the services can have it waived off”.
The move came in the wake of a number of complaints that Hotels and Restaurants are following the practice of charging ‘Service Charge’ in the range of 5-20 percent, in lieu of Tips, which a consumer is forced to pay irrespective of the kind of service provided to him.
SO, PAY ONLY IF YOU ARE SATISFIED AND WILLING TO PAY.