Restaurants, hotels must display ads with single pricing

Advertisements of restaurant and hotel services will soon have to display single pricing, which includes tax so that consumers are not duped and get fair treatment when making payments, said Domestic Trade, Cooperatives and Consumerism Minister Datuk Seri Hamzah Zainuddin.

He said this is necessary because there have been instances when traders take consumers for a ride with hidden charges.

“When consumers see an advertisement for an item priced at RM100, they will pay RM100. All charges including the GST (Goods and Services Tax) and service tax must already be included and there will no longer be any hidden charges,” he told a press conference after the ministry’s monthly gathering yesterday.

Hamzah said the first reading of the amendments to the Trade Descriptions Act 2011 was tabled in Parliament two days ago and he himself would debate the amendments on Monday or Tuesday.

“The amendments are enhancements to the Act so that consumers are not shocked when making payments and are aware of what services are offered, at a high or low price.

“So, the traders can no longer trick consumers by imposing additional charges which were not in the displayed price. Under the Customs Act 1967, they have to display the breakdown of prices in the receipt,” Hamzah said.

Adding that he hoped the Act would be passed and implemented by the end of this year, Hamzah said other sectors would be included from time to time after discussions are held with the stakeholders.

Hamzah said the Act will clarify the definition of price tags which are allowed for display, so that all charges are included together and consumers do not have to pay additional charges.

“For now, we have proposed a fine of RM100,000 on errant traders. What is important is that the Act is passed so that it can provide protection to consumers,” he said.

In a separate development, he said the ministry will soon announce the date for gazetting the Hire Purchase and Credit Sale Act that was passed in the previous Parliamentary session. — Bernama