30 percent customers didn’t pay service charge post GST roll-out: Online poll

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Moneycontrol News

The government’s efforts to spread awareness among people against paying compulsory service charge at restaurants and fine dines seems to be yielding the expected results.

A recent survey found that around 30 percent consumers did not pay the charge in the month of August, after the implementation of Goods and Services Tax, reported Times of India.

Online social media platform LocalCircles conducted a survey covering 8,500 respondents in the month of August, in which 21 percent of the respondents stated that the eateries did not even levy the charge on them, while nine percent said the amount was charged but they got it removed from their tab.

The number is better than in the month of May, when the agency had conducted the same survey, which revealed that only 27 percent respondents had not paid service charge.

The findings of the survey also indicate restaurant owners’ refusal to adopt the government mandate, even after the government issuing a guideline stating charging of service charge compulsorily is an unfair trade practice and to pay it or not is completely dependent on a consumer’s discretion.

Ram Vilas Paswan, Consumer Affairs Minister had even urged people to not only object paying the charge but also to move legally against any such restaurants not following the mandate.

“Many consumers suggested that if there was a way for them to identify restaurants that don’t levy service charge beforehand, it would be of great help as they would rather only go to restaurants that don’t levy a forced service charge,” the survey said.

Approximately 80 percent of participants stated online eatery rating sites should assist customers in this regard by creating a filter for ‘service charge mandatory’ restaurants. Customers are of the opinion that such a filter would enable them to make an informed choice at the time of selecting a restaurant.

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