Steamboat restaurant Charcoal Thai 1 called out for misleading promo ads

Thai steamboat restaurant Charcoal Thai 1 has been investigated for unfair practice of representing its goods or services are available at a discounted price. An investigation by the Competition and Consumer Commission of Singapore (CCCS) stated that Charcoal Thai 1 did not establish an end date for its discounts on the promotional materials published on its website, social media page and in-store posters and menu.

These promotional materials stated that the discounts for meals were either available for a “limited period only”, or would be “Ending Soon! 50% Discount”. However, findings from the consumer watchdog revealed these promotions have been ongoing since February 2016. CCCS said such claims on the discount period misled consumers into believing that there is a price benefit and scarcity in the availability of the promotional prices.

CCCS added that this also provided Charcoal Thai 1 an unfair advantage over businesses which comply with the Consumer Protection (Fair Trading) Act, that present accurate information of their discounts in their promotional materials. According to the consumer watchdog, Charcoal Thai 1 agreed to cease the unfair practice and specify expiry date for discounts and promotions in its marketing materials.

CCCS has closed its investigation given that Charcoal Thai 1 has taken the necessary steps to adequately address concerns. The watchdog will, however, continue to monitor the restaurant’s conduct and investigate any breach of the undertaking or unfair practices by Charcoal Thai 1. CCCS is also closely monitoring other businesses that engage in similar unfair practices where consumers are made to believe that there is scarcity in the availability of goods or services through misrepresentation of discount or promotion periods.

(Photo courtesy: Charcoal Thai 1 Facebook page)

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