Surcharged sales tax at popular fast food restaurants – NBC Los Angeles
A popular Mexican fast food restaurant imposes too high a sales tax on its customers. A savvy consumer caught it and our I-Team helped fix it.
This story begins with a $ 20 taco order from El Pollo Loco to Cypress. David Ho noticed that he had paid too much sales tax.
“Your sales tax is reduced, it is much lower,” he said.
The sales tax rate at Cypress is 7.75%, but David paid 9.25%. The difference for his order: 30 cents. It’s not a huge sum, but as Ho points out – it adds up.
“A few cents, nickels, quarters here and there with other people – it adds up,” Ho said. “Especially for people with a larger order.”
This isn’t the first time Ho’s computer mind has taken a sales tax surcharge. He first contacted the I-Team two years ago when he caught Avis charging too many taxes at John Wayne Airport.
“It’s just one of my interests to make sure taxpayers don’t get ripped off.” Said Ho.
So what happens when a business charges too much sales tax to its customers? He has two options: reimburse the customer or pay the additional cost he has collected to the state.
After the I-Team contacted Avis in our previous story, the company told us the overcharge was a mistake and automatically issued credit card refunds to any overcharged customers.
El Pollo Loco at Cypress also corrected the overload, telling us it was an isolated incident. He said the location overcharged customers for the first three weeks of April, but didn’t explain why. The company said affected customers could come to the restaurant for a refund. If the customers do not claim the overcharge, it will pay this money to the state, as it is required to do.
As for Ho, his keen eye and quick wit continue to put money back in the pockets of consumers.
“I see it as a public service that other consumers should know about,” he said.
El Pollo Loco full statement:
El Pollo Loco is aware of this situation and has been in direct contact with the customer concerned, who was happy to reimburse you in full for the difference. As soon as we were made aware of the situation, we worked with the franchisee to make sure the problem had been corrected. El Pollo Loco works diligently to ensure franchisees have the proper training and tools to comply with local tax regulations. This is an isolated incident and we are confident that it has been completely changed.
Those who visited the El Pollo Loco franchise in Cypress, Calif., April 1-21, can visit the store for a refund of the supplement. Any surcharges not claimed by customers will be directed to the State of California as sales tax revenue.