Monday, June 14, 2021
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Unfair service-charges

Prime Minister should look into highly irresponsible statement of Union Minister for Consumer affairs whereby the minister has called on consumers to fight at their own against malpractice of certain restaurants and hotels charging compulsory service-charge in their invoices. If members of public have to individually fight against a common malpractice by service-provider restaurants and hotels jointly, it is a total lack of governance. Such an irresponsible statement from a Union Minister tends to doubt about some under-the-table understanding having reached between administration and owners of restaurants for avoiding any action by the government against the common malpractice.  If eateries are really sincere for staff-welfare, they can increase their wages at their own. Also since there is no limit on served food-prices, they can increase prices rather than adopting back-door route to fool consumers through unfair service-charge. Law must be tightened for incorporating prison-provision for eatery-owners levying service-charge in bills. Rather paying and accepting tips otherwise also may be made an offence since gifts and tips are polished form of bribes. Even provision of writing tip-amount on credit-card pay-slips must be abolished.

Subhash Chandra Agrawal

(The views expressed by the author in the article are his/her own.)

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