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You Can Sue Eateries For False Advertising Of F&B Brands

You Can Sue Eateries For False Advertising Of F&B Brands

Giving you the generic versions of branded drinks is considered an offense.

Anne Dorall

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If restaurants or eateries state a certain food or drink brand on their menu, they must serve it as described.

This comes after the Ministry of Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs received complaints from customers about the bait-and-switch tactic employed by some traders or restaurant owners.

For example, if the menu states the drink as ‘Milo’ or ‘Nescafe’, those brands must be used. It is considered an offence if the eatery replaces the drink ordered with other generic brands of malt chocolate drinks or coffee powder.

Doing so is actually considered a “false trade description on goods or food offered by traders or restaurants”, because what you get is not what you ordered.

If you order “Nescafe ais” and get regular kopi ais, then that’s a false trade description.
(Credit: TRP)

The offense falls under section 5(1)(b) of the Trade Descriptions Act 2011, with a maximum fine of RM250,000 upon conviction.

The Ministry of Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs has conducted checks on 881 restaurants and eateries nationwide from 7 October to 27 October. Just 2 were filed for using false trade descriptions.

If you suspect an eatery is practicing this kind of malicious bait-and-switching, you can actually report them directly to the Ministry’s Enforcement Command Centre (ECC) here.

Additionally, you can do the same if restaurants dabble in false advertising, if the food in menus look way better than the food you actually get on your plate. Exaggerated photos or statements are not true representations of what you will get, so they are also counted as false advertising!

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