Fast food chains told to be more transparent on pricing

01 Mar 2019 / 13:13 H.

SEMENYIH: A consumer group has today demanded all fast food chains to be more transparent on their pricing and disclose the reasons for any price increase, should there be any.

The Malaysian Anti-Inflation Movement (MAIM) made this call in light of the price hike involving popular fast food chains Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC) and McDonald’s in December last year, with some meals costing as much as 30% more than they had previously.

MAIM legal advisor Ng Kian Nam (pix) said the explanation given previously by KFC in particular, for their price increase, was unsatisfactory, and he demanded that the chain be more frank and honest about their prices.

“They have to be transparent if they decide to increase the price. Announce it to the consumers, and explain the reasons why,” he told a press conference, here today.

“Even small hawkers, if they increase the prices of their goods, they know how to communicate to consumers by putting up notices and apologising, because we need to know. This, for us, is basic consumer’s rights.

“We urge consumers to boycott KFC in particular, until they announce transparently the actual reasons behind the price increase and if the implementation of the Sales and Services Tax (SST) had in fact played a part,” he added.

Ng added that MAIM had on Wednesday, made a formal enquiry online to KFC to explain the price increase, and for what reasons behind the raising of prices.

In December, just three months after SST was introduced, disgruntled Malaysians began sharing on social media the price increase of KFC and McDonald’s, pointing out that some meals cost RM4 more than they had previously.

The operator of KFC in Malaysia, QSR Brands (M) Holdings Bhd, later denied that its price increase was due to the SST, claiming it was instead because of the continuous improvement in its products.

Meanwhile, Ng has urged the Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Ministry to make public its investigation into KFC for the price hike, after its minister Datuk Seri Saifuddin Nasution Ismail demanded a written explanation on the matter in January.

“We also urge the ministry to investigate KFC under the Consumer Protection Act 1999, Competition Act 2010 and the Price Control and Anti-Profiteering Act 2011,” he added.

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