Fleeced by hotels, cinema halls? Call this helpline | jaipur | Hindustan Times
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Fleeced by hotels, cinema halls? Call this helpline

Were you forced to pay five times the maximum retail price (MRP) for that can of cola or the packet of biscuit that you had picked from the mini bar in the hotel room where you had put up during last vacations?

jaipur Updated: Feb 08, 2017 20:30 IST
Rakesh Goswami
Charging more than the MRP is a crime under the Legal Metrology Act.
Charging more than the MRP is a crime under the Legal Metrology Act.(HT/Photo.)

Were you forced to pay five times the maximum retail price (MRP) for that can of cola or the packet of biscuit that you had picked from the mini bar in the hotel room where you had put up during last vacations? Did the neighbourhood cinema hall charge you more than the MRP printed on the packet of wafers or the bottled water you had watching the last blockbuster? Do you have reasons to believe that the petrol pump where you fill you vehicle’s tank is dispensing less fuel?

Help is now just a call or a mouse-click away.

You can call up the state consumer helpline – 1800-180-6030 – that works Monday through Friday, between 10am to 5pm, or you can lodge a complaint on department’s website, www.consumeradvice.in, 24X7.

The legal metrology department, under the state consumer affairs department, has already booked four 5-star hotels and two petrol pumps since November 2016 on consumers’ complaints. The hotels were booked for using insufficient measures at their bars and for overcharging customers for food items in mini bars in rooms while the petrol pumps were found dispensing less fuel.

The legal metrology department, earlier called the weights and measures department, was part of the state industries department until chief minister Vasundhara Raje announced its transfer to consumer affairs in her budget speech for 2015-16. In October, 2016, the department came under consumer affairs.

In its first action, the department raided Entertainment Paradise, a multiplex in Jaipur, and found packaged drinking water of a reputed brand carrying a different MRP than those available in market.

“As per a decision by the national consumer grievance redressal commission on February 1, 2016, there cannot be two MRPs of any packaged commodity, but we hear people saying cinema halls and hotels overcharge them, especially for food items,” said principal secretary, consumer affairs, Subodh Agarwal.

“We will penalize such establishments. We request people to reach out to us with complaints,” he added.

Deputy controller, metrology department, Chandiram Jaswani said they booked hotels for using measures that serve less liquor in bars, petrol pumps for stealing 30ml for every 5 litres of petrol, and confectionaries for using pound as unit. All these are in violation of the legal metrology (packaged commodities) rules, 2011, and legal metrology act, 2009.

The first offence under the act is compoundable with penalty but there’s a provision of jail if the offence is repeated, Agarwal said.

Collectors told to act

The consumer affairs department has written to district collectors, who are president of district consumer protection councils, to check hotels, restaurants, cinema halls and other public places from charging more than the MRP mentioned on the pack. The letter, sent by department’s principal secretary Subodh Agarwal, states that charging more than the MRP is a crime under the Legal Metrology Act, 2009. Agarwal’s letter underlines that the stay order by Delhi high court on action against hotels and restaurants for overcharging customers had been vacated, paving way for legal metrology officers (LMO) to book them under the Act.