1000s of cafes and restaurants are imposing service charge. More than 90% restaurants are levying charge for service , against the order of government on the issue. As much as 70% are blatantly declaring it outside their premises by notice of “we levy service charge.” Service charge became the hot topic back in April 2017. Our expert and CEO pradip bhandari said ,”This loot in the name of service charge is an explicit stubbornness to keep the rules aside for their gains.” ‘Jan ki baat’ went undercover and unleashed more than 50 cafes and restaurants in Delhi that are charging separately for service. As we reported earlier that the reason was an announcement by the government on 21st April this year, that the service charge being imposed on the consumers/customers in the restaurants must not be of mandatory nature. It was announced to be voluntary, it is based on a wish/descretion of the customer, if he is satisfied and wishes to pay extra for service.
Almost every other restaurant is charging the Service charge denying the government rule of making it ‘totally voluntary’.
Jan ki baat is ready to help people in whichever way it is possible. A PIL(public interest litigation) is being filed by the India’s only youth channel, Jan ki baat(JKB) .
‘Jan ki baat’ reporters reached at some famous cafes and restaurants with a hidden camera to catch the hidden truth. Even after the official announcement by the government these well known places don’t bother to follow the norms. Even the restaurants in posh areas like Khan market and CP are not willing to go by the rules.
As soon as we started this campaign against the rule breakers/deceivers, the response from people was quick. People took pictures of restaurant bills they get and posted how the service charge is being imposed in almost every part of India.
Our sting operation included cafes/restaurants like The social in CP, Lord of the drinks, My bar etc. They had charged for service and also mentioned it in the bill separately. On telling them that they can not put service charge as a madatorily one in the bill, the attendant from ‘My bar’ sounded uninformed and confused. In Lord of the rings, the service guy said, “we had included it but if you don’t want to pay we can exclude it”. The other restaurants’ manager said, “we will charge for service” repeatedly.
The question now is, no customer will notice it this way and doesn’t event bother to even look at all the charges included, then why not, exclude such charge beforehand?
It is of utmost importance that government takes stern measures to stop such places to deceive the customers and make money out of an innocent customer. Even though some restaurants have written “no service charge is mandatory” yet it’s highly deceiving how they charge. This sting operation also reveals the blatant lies and reluctance of the managers of these restaurants who do not sound to commit any wrong in the video we managed to record. Food and distribution minister Shri Ram Vilas Paswan about the service charge has already made a statement, he said, ” I personally think that service charge must be removed but it is a big step that we clearly made it voluntary.” “The information about the service charge should be provided to the customer beforehand and not later in the bill.” He stated further.
It is to be taken care of that for restaurants like these, customer has all the information needed. Jan ki baat, means to educate and inform people about all the details on Service charge because we believe in people and we believe in a Corruption free India. An India where no one can be a hurdle in the administration and it’s dreams for our nation.
We urge more and more people to be a part of this expose’. The response till now has been overwhelmingly positive. We are receiving continuous response on Twitter, Facebook and by phones. This is the biggest expose’ on service charge as yet. Stay tuned for more with Jan ki baat.