Putrajaya is mulling a policy that will prevent businesses from sneaking hidden costs into their products, The Star reports.

If implemented, the single-pricing policy (SPP) would require all businesses to display only exact prices, including service charges and the 6% goods and services tax (GST), said the newspaper today.

“These additional charges are usually hidden in the fine print or disclaimers that come with the purchase,” an anonymous source from the Domestic Trade, Cooperatives and Consumerism Ministry was quoted as saying.

“So, if the SPP is approved and implemented, businesses will only be allowed to advertise the exact price, which is inclusive of all other hidden charges, including taxes.”

The source told The Star that Putrajaya was considering the policy after receiving complaints from consumers.

“There have been many instances where the consumer actually ended up paying a lot more for a product or service than what was displayed or advertised.”

He said the SPP would also affect hotels and airlines if enforced – two industries that often reduced their taxes to the fine print.

Other businesses that would be affected included food and beverage, tourism, telecommunications, online businesses, health and pharmaceutical, recreational and entertainment, banking and financial services, retail, and transport.

The source said the policy would allow consumers real value for money, as businesses often advertised their prices minus the hidden costs in order to beat their competition.

“They will portray that their rates are lower than their rivals’ when in actual fact, they are not.

“So by making all of them display the real rates, consumers will be able to better determine which product or service they would like to have.” – February 13, 2016.

- The Malaysian Insider-

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