The Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution today issued advisory to all the State Governments/ UTs to sensitize the companies, hotels and restaurants, in its region, on Consumer Protection Act, 1986 on unfair trade practices, Bureaucracy Today has learnt.
“The hotels/restaurants (are advised) to disseminate information through display at the appropriate place in the hotel/restaurants that the ‘service charges’ are discretionary/voluntary and a consumer dissatisfied with the service can have it waived off,” the Minister of State for Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution, CR Chaudhary, told Lok Sabha in a written reply.
The provision further states: if a trade practice adopts any unfair method or deceptive practice, is to be treated as an unfair trade practice. A three-tier quasi-judicial mechanism has been set up at the District, State and National levels to provide simple and inexpensive justice to consumer disputes.
“An unsatisfied consumer can make a complaint to the appropriate consumer forum against an unfair trade practice adopted by any trader or service provider,” Chaudhary added.
The National Consumer Helpline received 163 complaints related to Service Charges from April 2016 to February 2017.