KUCHING: Instant noodles are among the most common everyday items susceptible to price tag fraud.
Hence, Ministry of Domestic Trade, Co-operatives and Consumerism (KPDNKK) Sarawak director Wan Ahmad Uzir Wan Sulaiman yesterday reminded consumers not to let their guard down when shopping for groceries.
“We are investigating three cases involving three shopping premises whereby the price charged was not the same as the barcoded one.
“The products involved are all instant noodles, and the affected premises are all in Kuching,” he told reporters during a routine check on a supermarket here.
Huzir said the offence could be charged under the Consumer Protection Act Section 12 (a)(b).
The section states that a person commits an offence “if he gives to a consumer an indication which is misleading as to the price at which any goods or service are available” and “if an indication given by him to a consumer as to the price at which any goods or service are available becomes misleading and he fails to take reasonable steps to prevent the consumer from relying on the indication”.
The penalty for individuals is a fine not exceeding RM100,000, imprisonment of not more than three years, or compound.
The maximum fine for a corporation is RM250,000 or compound.
“Things high in demand are normally the products businesses tend to take advantage of. Take instant noodles, for example.
If they charge an extra 20 sen without the consumer knowing, they can make unscrupulous amount of profits at the end of the day.”
Wan Uzir said consumers should be observant when checking out to make sure all the prices tallied.
“Consumers must take time to check their receipts after every purchase, especially when they buy a lot of things.
“Many supermarkets have price scanners, and they should utilise that too.
“This is a habit all consumers should embrace.”
Wan Uzir added that KPDNKK would continue to conduct routine checks on supermarkets during sales and promotional periods to ensure businesses toe the line.