Sunday, January 03, 2010

Update on 'service charge' update

Now you and I think it's fairly simple - a law was passed in 2006 saying it's illegal for restaurants to charge a 'service fee'.

Simple, it's illegal so they can't do it. Right?

Wrong.

We don't understand. It obviously isn't simple at all.

In fact from the number of updates and clarifications issued it must be very complicated.

As usual we have different officials in different ministries and departments, federal and emirate, clarifying the issue for us. Naturally, in the way of things here, the've all been different so we now have no idea what's actually happening.

I've tried in my previous three posts in the last week on 'service charges' to keep up with the updates and clarifications.

It's illegal so they have to stop it. Except restaurants and cafes operating inside hotels and those paying taxes to the local governments.

Customers can't refuse to pay the 'service charge'. Yes they can refuse to pay.

A bylaw has to be issued, in about two weeks, before the law can be enforced. Enforcement will happen immediately.

A grace period to allow restaurants to adjust their systems. No grace period will be allowed.

Got that?

By the way, whatever happened to the official government spokespeople? I posted about the announcement that they were being appointed to stop this kind of confusion way back in March last year.

Getting that idea up and running must also be much more complicated than it appears.



Today's clarification is here.

5 comments:

Borders said...

When we saw "10% service charge excluded" on the menu of a cafe in JBR, we asked the waiter if they didnt know about the law. He said there is no such a thing but after he went inside and obviously talked to somebody about it, he came back saying that "we will not charge u that 10%". so what i got from that sentence is "if u didnt complain, u wud have to pay".

But what we didnt realize that we were already charged that 10% earlier that day in another restaurant. We have the reciept and we'll scan it and send it to the authorities. Lets see what comes out of it!!

We, as residents, shud make our best and "help" cafes and restaurants to comply with the law.

the real nick said...

^ u shud also lern how 2 spel den u wud hav bean abl 2 reed da menu of dee adda resturant probaly

Abu Dhabi/UAE Daily Photo said...

Taxes to what local governments? Oh! I'm sorry. I forgot to check my logic at the door before asking that one.

Mark said...

Thanks for the post - keep the info and anti stealth service charge crusade going. Are The National doing much in terms of publicising this issue?

Seabee said...

Mark yes, The National have been running stories about it.