Wednesday August 1, 2012
CAP: Include tax charges in food prices
GEORGE TOWN: The price of all food items in restaurants should be inclusive of tax to allow patrons to understand the actual cost of each meal, said Consumers Association of Penang (CAP).
Its president S.M. Mohamed Idris said customers should always be made aware of the exact price of food or drink before they indulge in it.
“The present practice of adding a 6% government tax and 10% service charge to the price tag is not fair to customers.
“Customers are being deceived by the hidden cost. They have to fork out an additional 16% on top of their bill.
“For instance, when the customer is going to end up paying RM11.60 for a dish, it is not fair to list it as only RM10 on the menu,” he said at the CAP office in Jalan Masjid Negeri yesterday
He added that the service charge should be waived in order to protect both the workers and consumers.
“In some cases, the restaurants have not distributed the service charge back to their staff and this is akin to cheating the workers and the customers.
“Customers normally will not tip the workers if they know that the place already imposes a service charge,’’ he said.
Mohamed Idris said customers should not be forced to pay service charge if the service was unsatisfactory.
“Instead, customers should just tip the waiter depending on the service rendered,” he said.
Mohamed Idris said food premises that collect the 6% service tax should also have the licence number printed on the receipt so that customers could check its authenticity with the Royal Malaysian Customs Department (RMCD).
“There have been cases where outlets imposed service tax even though they were not authorised to do so by the RMCD.
“Certain conditions have to be met before a restaurant is allowed to collect the service tax.
“One of them is the place must record a turnover of RM3mil a year,” he said.