Charcoal Thai 1 Restaurant Ends Unfair Practice of Misleading Representations on Discount Period following CCCS’s Investigation
Singapore , 16 August 2019
Following an investigation by the Competition and Consumer Commission of Singapore (“CCCS”) of Charcoal Thai 1 restaurant, CCCS is of the view that Charcoal Thai 1 has breached section 4 of the Consumer Protection (Fair Trading) Act (Cap. 52A) (“CPFTA”) read with paragraph 18 of the Second Schedule to the CPFTA, which states that it is an unfair practice to represent that goods or services are available at a discounted price for a stated period of time if the supplier knows or ought to know that the goods or services will continue to be so available for a substantially longer period.
CCCS started investigating Charcoal Thai 1 in 2018 when it found, as part of its on-going market monitoring efforts, that no end date to the discount period was stated on the promotional materials published on Charcoal Thai 1’s website, social media page and in-store posters and menu. These promotional materials also stated that the discounts for meals such as lunch sets and steamboat items were either available for a “limited period only”, or would be “Ending Soon! 50% Discount", when in fact they continued to be available for at least another two years since February 2016. Such claims on the discount period not only misled consumers into believing that there is a price benefit and scarcity in the availability of the promotional prices, it also provided Charcoal Thai 1 an unfair advantage over businesses which comply with the CPFTA by making efforts to help consumers make accurate price comparisons, i.e. through providing genuine discounts over a stated period of time and representing this to consumers clearly in their promotional materials.
Charcoal Thai 1 has since agreed to cease the unfair practice and not engage in any other unfair practices under the CPFTA. In particular, it has undertaken not to make any representations on discounts or promotions in its promotional materials or any other forms of publicity without specifying the expiry date for those discounts or promotions.
For the undertaking and more information, please visit www.cccs.gov.sg/media-and-consultation/newsroom/media-releases/charcoal-thai-1-ends-unfair-practice-16-aug-19.