Hyderabad: Seemingly exploiting the COVID 19 situation, ‘Naturals’, a hair and beauty salon with branches across the country has charged a customer Rs 150 as `safety and hygiene fee’ in Chennai.

The customer has uploaded the bill on twitter wherein he has been levied Rs 150 as `safety and hygiene fee’. This is in addition to Rs 250 charged for a haircut, and Rs 45 GST.

“Neither the central or state government has announced any such tax or fee. However, we don’t have a particular customer protection law to safeguard the citizens against this looting. It does not come under legal metrology. So far we have not come across any such case in Telangana. In such a situation, customers can approach the consumer forum or inform GHMC,” said Jagan Mohan, Assistant Controller of Legal Metrology Department.

Srikhande Umesh Kumar, Founder of Know Your Rights, said companies are exploiting the ignorance of consumers. “In the coming days, these companies will come out with more ideas to loot customers. It’s like hotels fooling customers in the name of service charge. If something of this kind has happened in Chennai city, then Hyderabad is not too far. I would suggest citizens stay vigilant and report such exploitation immediately,” he said.

Dheeshma Puzhakkal

Dheeshma Puzhakkal is currently a Reporter with Newsmeter. An alumnus of Hyderabad Central University, she has interned with Greater Kashmir newspaper and NDTV. Dheeshma has also made short films and documentaries. Her documentary ‘Still I Rise’, which is based on sex-trafficking in Hyderabad’s Old City, has earned accolades in several film festivals, such as International Documentary and Short Film Festival, Kerala (IDSFFK). An avid foodie, she loves to travel and listen to stories that others tell. Photography is one of her all-time interests. She has extensively written on satellite-based journalism, health, consumer, and data stories besides covering anti-crime investigative agencies.

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