BY ATTY. ROMULO B. MACALINTAL SENIOR CITIZENS RIGHTS ADVOCATE
MCDONALD’s outlets will give one “free sandwich” per person on its fifth year of National Breakfast Day on March 13from 6 a,m. to 7 a.m. It is also selling “Discounted Special” coupon worth P49 that gives the buyer “a pre-purchased” hash browns and a small size coffee or juice redeemable on same date between6 a.m.to 10 a.m., a promo approved by the DTI from February 12 to March 12.Indeed, a good bargain because the regular price for these two food items is P60, thus, a customer gets P11 (P60 –49= P11) discount.
But said promo is not friendly nor favorable to us senior citizens (SCs). Since these two food items are on promotional discount, the SC discount and VAT exemption do not apply. But, under the law, the SC could choose between said promo discount of P11 or the 20 percent discount with 12 percent VAT exemption, whichever is higher or favorable to the SC.
And in this case, the discount provided by law is more favorable to SCs because if the 20 percent SC discount and 12 percent VAT exemption are applied, the two food items which regularly sell at P60 would only be P42.24 for a senior citizen or a discount of P17.76 (P60 -42.24 = P17.76), thus:
P60.00, the regular price of coffee and hash browns, minus the 12 percent VAT or P7.20, equals P52.80, minus the 20 percent VAT, or P10.56, equals P42.24, the selling price to SCs for said food items, or P17.76 (P7.20 + P10.56 = P17.76) discount for the regular price of P60 compared to only P11 discount if purchased at P49 promo price.
Thus, to insure protection of SCs rights and avoid confusion, McDonald’s should post appropriate notices advising that, for SCs, said two food items are sold for P42.24 only. Or better still, why not apply the 20 percent discount and 12 percent VAT exemption for SCs to said P49 promo. At any rate, it is just a one-day affair and such generosity to the millions of SCs will prove McDonald’s’ philosophy of “not only serving good food but also offering the best moments while dining in its franchises.”
McDonald’s should also clarify that purchased coupon not redeemed on March 13has no expiry date which means it could still be used after March 13since they are in the nature of a “gift certificate or cards which shall be redeemable until used by the bearer” pursuant to A.O. No. 10-4, Series of 2010 of the DTI which prohibits any supplier from issuing gift certificates containing an expiry date, effective July 1, 2012.
Lastly, as a regular customer of McDonald’s consuming an average of two cups of large McCafe daily, I noticed that the photo of the cup of coffee on the promo coupon appears to pertain to a “large cup of coffee” but what is actually given to customers under the promo is only a small cup of coffee. Truth in advertising demands that McDonalds has to explain this apparent discrepancy to protect the rights of the consumers.