Thursday, December 31, 2009

Inevitable confusion

You can guarantee that the more clarifications we're given the more confused the situation will become.

The latest in a long and never-ending line is the restaurant 'service charge' issue.

First, restaurants have been openly charging anything from 5% to 30% 'service charge' even though it has apparently been illegal since 2006.

Many claim they weren't told that it was illegal and I'm sure very few of we paying customers knew that it was.

We're told that although the law is in place it requires a bylaw before it can be enforced.

We're also told that we can't refuse to pay the illegal charge if a restaurant demands it.

Today we have clarification in The National.

The Abu Dhabi Department of Economic Development’s chief lawyer has said that customers should refuse to pay service charges at non-tourist restaurants.

A couple of days ago a senior official at the Dubai Economic Development Department told Gulf News that consumers can't take action and refuse to pay the service charge at any restaurant.

So which is it? Is the law to be applied differently in each emirate?

And how can we be sure the restaurant is 'non-tourist'? The new information is that the ban does not apply to restaurants licensed by the various tourist authorities, which includes most establishments in hotels and private clubs.

A bit vague to say the least.

I don't suppose confusion (relating to almost any subject) could be a deliberate policy could it? To have us throwing up our hands in frustration and putting up with the staus quo?

Surely not?

Today's story from The National is here.

The earlier Gulf News story is here.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

'tourist' is a polite term for 'accredited booze joints'..

Now does that makes sense?