Restaurant fined Rs 20,000 for overcharging Rs 20 mineral water bottles!

After failing to pass it off as a 'general practice', the restaurant tried to pass off the extra charge as 'ambiance tax'.

It’s a well known fact that most hotels over charge customers for basic things like water, and we as consumers gladly comply with these inflated prices.

Is this fair? No! Paying over the marked price is an exploitation of your basic right. But still many shopkeepers across India have made this a norm. Not many people know that anyone who buys a bottle for more than its MRP can sue the seller, as it is fundamentally a violation of ‘fair trade practice’.

One vigilant consumer from Hyderabad decided to raise his voice against the absurd over-pricing norm and dragged a popular restaurant to court.

And what was the result? The hotel had to shell out Rs 20,000 for overcharging. The Sarvi Hotel located in Banjara Hills, Hyderabad was fined after it charged the customer Rs 40 for a bottle of mineral water instead of the MRP of Rs 20, and ended up paying Rs 20,000 to the customer.

After being dragged to court, the hotel management stated the ‘Principles of Hospitality Law’ and were quoted saying “that a customer is duty bound to pay the charges so perused by him in the menu card, and the customer is stopped from claiming that he was overcharged.”

But the court blatantly ruled that the restaurant has no right to sell packaged goods at inflated costs, and ended up fining them for making illegal enrichment by charging excess amount from customers.

Know your rights, people!