• Report: #510533
Complaint Review:


  • Submitted: Fri, October 16, 2009
  • Updated: Sun, December 12, 2010

  • Reported By: Ronny g — North hollywood California USA
subway.com Internet United States of America

SUBWAY Is a 5 dollar foot long 5 dollars....or $5.49? Internet

*Consumer Comment: Sales Tax

*Author of original report: Heat, meatball, chicken, turkey, avacodo, to go tax...

*Consumer Comment: cmon now..

*Author of original report: Response to all...

*Consumer Comment: Tax

*Consumer Comment: Ronny

*Author of original report: Response to Edgeman...

*Author of original report: sylver8248....I think....

*Consumer Comment: California problem.

*Consumer Comment: I think...

*Author of original report: I would like to submit a "semi" retraction...

*Author of original report: Vaporize..you should actually read a post before responding and putting your foot in your mouth..

*General Comment: Question..if I did would I be charged the chicken and toast tax..or would they combine it?

*Consumer Comment: Strange tax laws...

*Consumer Comment: sales tax

*Author of original report: Now Robert..here is something we DO see eye to eye on..

*Consumer Comment: You are correct ronnie

*Author of original report: Just wanted to add...

*Consumer Comment: Thank our lovely State Officials...

*Consumer Comment: Eating in or out tax

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Don't get me wrong, I like Subways..it is a great value and not going to kill you or make you fat like the hambuger joints...but I am puzzled by something.

The first time I ate at a Subway here in California..I ordered a 5 dollar footlong...and the total at the register was 5 dollars to the penny. So this is great for me since I budget myself to the penny..I know I only need 5 dollars to consider if I buy a footlong there.

Next time they ask if I want it toasted...I say sure.

Now it comes out to $5.49. So I ask why this time it is more and they told me because it is toasted..they have to charge tax. Hmmm never heard of a toasting tax where I am from..but I payed it no problem.

Next time I go in they ask if I want it toasted.. and I say no thank you.

Comes out to $5.49. So I ask again..why? Because I ordered a 5 dollar footlong chicken and to heat the chicken is charged a tax. Hmm..so now there is a chicken heating tax.

I noticed on my reciept at the bottom it says "try your sandwich toasted !!"

Question..if I did would I be charged the chicken and toast tax..or would they combine it?

This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 10/16/2009 08:19 PM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/reports/subway/internet/subway-is-a-5-dollar-foot-long-5-dollarsor-549-internet-510533. The posting time indicated is Arizona local time. Arizona does not observe daylight savings so the post time may be Mountain or Pacific depending on the time of year.

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#1 Consumer Comment

Sales Tax

AUTHOR: Stan - (U.S.A.)

i beleive the words people are looking for is prepared food which is taxable in most if not all states,heating constitutes prepared  where cold does not,same applies to eating in as opposed to take out.

There is no toasting tax and they  can only charge tax once per item.

Just my 2 cents.

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#2 Author of original report

Heat, meatball, chicken, turkey, avacodo, to go tax...

AUTHOR: Ronny g - (USA)

Regardless of what kind of tax it is called...that is not the point. The point is honesty in the price of an item we purchase.

Now I really thought this matter was closed..but what was done to you with the avocado was a scam.

I noticed the other day when I was again at Subway...the girl making the sandwich asked the customer in front of me "would you like it toasted?". The customer replied "yes". The sandwich maker then replied "it will cost an additional 50 cents" to which the customer replied, "that is okay".

Now I ask...why was I never notified it would cost an additional "tax" or "fee" if I answer "yes" to the toast question..or order chicken, turkey, meatballs or whale d**k?

I know if I was buying a car...and the salesman asked me if I want a leather interior..he best let me know this will cost additional. As far as a measly 50 cents for a hot or toasted or chicken tax..I could care less about the 50 cents. What I care about is a business assuming they can ignore my financial situation,and yet I witness them telling another customer that it will cost additional if they answer "yes" to the "would you like it toasted" question.

So now I feel like they just assumed I am a sucker..since they never told me there would be an additional charge if I answer "yes" to the "would I like it toasted' question..or if another 5 dollar footlong may cost more then 5 dollars because the f**ked up retarded state assumes a customer will only eat chicken or meatballs on premises...but if they order ham...it means they will take it to go.

So if anyone is willing to mail me 2 quarters..that is fine. But I also want 2 quarters for EVERY Subway customer that was not informed there was a tax or addtional charge for avocado, chicken, meatballs and toast. So I figure a check for $756,966 should cover enough to refund all the customers that were not properly informed for this month alone.

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#3 Consumer Comment

cmon now..

AUTHOR: RobJ - (United States of America)

You know people that are responding to this that say it's just a tax blah blah blah.. well the Subway in Carpinteria, CA not only offer toasted sandwiches without telling you it will cost you .50, but they offered me avocado during avocado festival and charged me 1.50!! They neglected to tell me of the charge until I went to pay for the food, which I think is a total scam! I will not get my sandwich toasted at subway again. and whoever said they would mail out 2 quarters.. add me to your list cause 50 cents is worth complaining about!!
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#4 Author of original report

Response to all...

AUTHOR: Ronny g - (USA)

The only reason this got a little "ugly"..is because regardless of how polite I was..snide remarks towards me personally were used..and there was no reason at all for this.

Anyhow, ..here is a breakdown..

1) I understand this is a goofy California tax issue and NOT a Subway issue. The thing is I am new here (as I stated earlier) and had never heard of this hot food cold food tax..or to go vs. eat in tax. What I noticed was I was always asked if the food was to go..and I always said "yes" and took the food to go.

2) I was always asked if I would like the sandwich "toasted"...sometimes I would say "yes" and there was no tax applied...sometimes there was a tax applied. Since this was happening at a Subway...I figured this was a Subway issue.

3) This report has NOTHING to do with 49 cents..it has to do with not understanding why sometimes I was charged a tax..and sometimes why I was not FOR THE SAME ITEM under THE SAME CIRCUMSTANCE.

4) Thanks to some replies here I now fully understand what the cause of this issue is...which is..THE STATE..not Subways per say although I submitted my semi retraction and explained so that chapter is CLOSED.

I guess my only issue is...Why does the state "assume" I am going to eat in the establishment and charge the tax..when regardless of if the sandwich is toasted, or chicken, I request it "to go"..and take it out the door where I eat in the break room at my work which is around 50 yards away in distance? This is where the confusion lies.

It seems the retarded state just can not fathom that any customer could actually walk out the door with a toasted sandwich. The ironic thing is..there are public tables and chairs OUTSIDE for the entire strip mall to use..regardless if someone's food is hot, cold, toasted, roasted, poached or flambe.
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#5 Consumer Comment


AUTHOR: Js124 - (U.S.A.)

Read the California hot food tax law. all food that is toasted/ or prepared hot is charged a tax most times it is 5.46 Some owners choose to tax customers and others don't. but if the don't charger you they are still liable.
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#6 Consumer Comment


AUTHOR: sylver8248 - (U.S.A.)

Not sure when we crossed into actual insults.   I understand what principle means, so I won't need to "google" to find out, thanks very much.  My point, is,  that I wish I had the time to complain about something as measly as 50 friggin cents.

I'll go ahead and take "my tiny brain" and chalk this up to another annoying troll, who enjoys starting an argument.

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#7 Author of original report

Response to Edgeman...

AUTHOR: Ronny g - (USA)

Yes, the tax laws in this state are strange. I notice some responders are under the impression I am complaining about the 49 cents. Those are the ones who respond without actually comprehending the the post..make fools of themselves and lose all credibility.

I am only concerned that I am new to California and trying to budget myself. "Confusing" tax laws can hinder budgeting. Because correct..this post is only dealing with a 49 cent tax on a sandwich..but how so I know that a much larger purchase in the future made in this state won't become a bigger issue?

Your post explained it very well Edgeman..and it does clear up some of my confusion..and give an answer to how this is happening.

If I am understanding correctly...this tax law is implying that simply because something is toasted or heated..the state can automatically assume..with no evidence to the contrary..where the meal is going to be consumed.

And to think that tax dollars were spend for our officials to sit around and come up with this asinine law?

If the grounds and premise of this tax is solely regarding where the meal is being consumed..what is wrong with the employee asking "eat in or take out" and then apply the tax accordingly? I guess that would make things too simple?

Perhaps the incidence at the Burger King you mention is reason enough in the states eyes to assume everyone who orders a meal to go, or hot..is actually going to eat in just to save a little money? Is it right to charge any tax based on "assumption"? Perhaps it needs looking into..it's not about 49 cents.

However..we also have to be concerned that instead of them changing the tax code to be more fair to the customer and the business..they could follow suit like other states and make all fast food...hot or cold, eat in or take out subject to sales tax... maybe we should not do anything and just order cold "to go" if we wish to save on tax.

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#8 Author of original report

sylver8248....I think....

AUTHOR: Ronny g - (USA)

...that if you have the time to read what I posted..that your tiny brain could comprehend I am not complaining about 49 cents...I am addressing the issue that additional charges are being applied without customer consent..doesn't matter if it's a penny. But guess you never heard of principle.

If you can take the time out of your busy day...perhaps you should 'google" the word "principle"...anyone can. And that would take less time then mailing me the 2 quarters. It should be tax free to do so...unless there is a google tax we are unaware of?

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#9 Consumer Comment

California problem.

AUTHOR: Flynrider - (U.S.A.)

"is that so unreasonable?"

   Not necessarily unreasonable, but not Subway's problem.  They use signage that is developed for all of their restaurants nationwide.  I wouldn't expect them to develop special signage to deal with goofy CA sales tax laws.

   This issue is common to any restaurant that sells cold and hot food in CA.   Why do you think this is a Subway issue? 

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#10 Consumer Comment

I think...

AUTHOR: sylver8248 - (U.S.A.)

that if you have the free time to complain about $.49, send me your address and I will happily mail you 2 quarters.
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#11 Author of original report

I would like to submit a "semi" retraction...

AUTHOR: Ronny g - (USA)

Today I went into Subways again.and ordered the new buffalo chicken 5 dollar foot long..and said yes when asked if I would like it toasted...

Total came out to $5.49...$5.00 + .49 "sales" tax.

So mystery one solved..they only tax once for both chicken heating tax..and toasting tax combined.

I looked around at the signage in the store..and did notice some of the signs state on the bottom.."plus applicable sales tax".

Now granted..the large sign introducing the "limited time" foot long buffalo chicken sub does not state "plus applicable sale tax"..it is on some signage..so it can be reasonably assumed some items will have a sales taxapplied.

The reason I titled this a "semi" retraction, is because even though it is stated that applicable sales tax can be applied on some of the signage..and since the cold subs NEVER have tax applied..and toasting tax seems arbitrary since it has not been applied every time with consistency..that to someone new to California, it can be confusing.

I believe it is safe to assume a reasonable person unfamiliar with the assed-out tax codes in California, that "sales" tax would be applied to an item itself due to it's sale..or selling of..not due to the heating or toasting of a normally tax free item. Since I am not familiar with the screwed up California tax codes dealing with foods and heating/toasting..I did not realize heating or toasting an "if served unheated or untoasted item that is always tax exempt"... I would have no way of knowing before point of sale...why an item untaxed if served unheated or un toasted..would have a "sales" tax applied to it if heated or toasted.

Now this is only 49 cents on a single 5 dollar foot long..not larceny by any means (unless you add up all the subs they serve in California heated or toasted in a day together)...but nonetheless...I still feel it would be a better policy for all involved..if they had signage stating something to the effect "the heating or toasting of a cold sandwich will have a sales tax applied due to the screwed up California  confusing tax code"..is that so unreasonable?

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#12 Author of original report

Vaporize..you should actually read a post before responding and putting your foot in your mouth..

AUTHOR: Ronny g - (USA)

Lets break this down..and step by step thoroughly DEBUNK (look it up) your rude and ignorant response...

"It's called sales tax.  You pay for it on most anything, such as; smokes, alcohol, hot foods, and fast food."

I know what sales tax is..I have owned retail businesses before..and worked for many. If you read my post..you would have noticed that I am new to California..and was surprised to find out myself..that Subway DOES NOT charge sales tax on their sandwiches...unless apparently it is toasted..or heated.

"If it occurs to me Subway is fast food.  Big deal 50 more cents, stop complaining

Once again..did it occur to you that actually reading my posts before putting said foot in said mouth..I clearly state I am not complaining about the 50 cents..and that it is not a big deal..because it is not a big deal. I was simply stating that if a sandwich is normally being charged 5 dollars TO THE PENNY..and then at some point they ask if you want it toasted, it would be better to notify the customer that there is a toasting tax...since it is NOT stated anywhere on the signage in the store. Not in small print...not in large print...not in braille...not in Spanish..and not in Cantonese...it is not posted anywhere. So the only way you find out there is a toasting tax..is when you ask at the point of sale why it is more money then the same sandwich was the last time you ordered it...sound unreasonable??

 "while its important to set a budget, read the fine print in the commercial, Sales Tax not Included, that means the customer needs to account for sales tax"

Read fine print in the commercial??.....I do not "read" commercials..and even if I did...since Subway DOES NOT CHARGE SALES TAX for their sandwiches in California..unless it is toasted or heated...why not have that posted in print...signage in the store..or have the employees simply let you know at the time of requesting a toasting or heating, that there is a toasting and/or chicken heating tax applied?

In closing, there is a saying you should live by...."it is better to keep your mouth shut and let people wonder if you are a fool...then open it and remove all doubt".

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#13 General Comment

Question..if I did would I be charged the chicken and toast tax..or would they combine it?

AUTHOR: Inspector - (USA)

Answer: They would combine the tax.
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#14 Consumer Comment

Strange tax laws...

AUTHOR: Edgeman - (U.S.A.)

California has confusing and sometimes contradictory ideas about taxing food. Generally speaking, the state government thinks that food that is heated is intended to be consumed immediately after purchase and food that isn't heated is intended to be consumed later. That isn't always the case though. I could go to 7-11 and buy a bag of chips and a hot dog. The chips probably wouldn't be taxed but the hot dog would. However, if I went to a deli and bought a meal that included a bag of chips, they would be taxed.

Now if I went to Subway and got a cold sandwich to go, I wouldn't be taxed but if I asked for it to be toasted, I'd be taxed because the state thinks I'm going to consume it immediately even if I take it to my car and drive away.

If you think that's odd, we had a RipOff report a while back where a group of people went to Burger King and asked for their food to go in order to avoid sales tax. Then they ate their food in the dining room and felt they were being ripped off when an employee came to their table to collect the sales tax for their order.

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#15 Consumer Comment

sales tax

AUTHOR: Vaporize - (U.S.A.)

It's called sales tax.  You pay for it on most anything, such as; smokes, alcohol, hot foods, and fast food.  If it occurs to me Subway is fast food.  Big deal 50 more cents, stop complaining, while its important to set a budget, read the fine print in the commercial, Sales Tax not Included, that means the customer needs to account for sales tax.
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#16 Author of original report

Now Robert..here is something we DO see eye to eye on..

AUTHOR: Ronny g - (USA)

Don't even get me started with the issues in this state. You think overdrafters are irresponsible idiots??? Just live in any other state (California is my 5th state)..and then move here. You will wonder if Helen Keller is in charge.

I was duped. I though it was going to be like Baywatch..but I traverse the streets dodging used condoms and drug bags, homeless beggars abound..I think they charge a fee to enter the 7/11..and instead of fresh ocean air breezes..I get to inhale pollution..feces, and urine smells. The pollution is so bad..I can wash my car in the morning..and by evening I can barely see out of the windshield.

I won't even start on the complete lack of any city planning or zoning laws..and the taxes and fees on virtually everything. I do not think I will last another year here..if that. And what is with all these left turning lanes that have no arrow to signal when it is safe to turn left? It seems here it is mandatory to run a red light if making a left..or the cars behind you will curse you to no end..craziness I tell you. And if you did not make the left on red..you would be there forever. You would think a place that is supposed to be "green" thinkers..would want to prevent gridlock on the roads..but it seems that was all a farce as well. The city is designed to conjest traffic and waste gas..and much valuable time.

By the way..I am going to Irvine next week. Have to pick up an item I won on an ebay auction. Just thought it was funny that of all the places that have "pick up only" ..it was located in your town. I hear it's much nicer there anyway then the filthy nasty hell up here in the valley..I will see.
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#17 Consumer Comment

You are correct ronnie

AUTHOR: Ashley - (U.S.A.)

I think most states have tax on fast food. Here in the midwest I pay 6% tax on fast food. It doesnt matter if the food is to go, eat in, hot or cold. Its 6% tax. At a grocery store I pay 3% for food that is not "Hot or ready to eat"

So indeed these tax laws vary by state.
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#18 Author of original report

Just wanted to add...

AUTHOR: Ronny g - (USA)

I always get the food to go...

Just want to say I don't really think this constitutes a rip off per say. And the people who work there are really nice and the service is fast and friendly.

I was actually surprised the first time I went in that it was 5 dollars to the penny..since I think many other states charge tax on all fast food..but I am not sure.

But it was strange the first sandwich I got was 5 dollars exactly..and then when it was going to have chicken or toast taxes applied..I wasn't notified by the employees there would be any additional charges or chicken heating/toasting taxes.

I don't know if it is policy that they should let the customer know there will be a tax..when apparently there are ways to get it without tax..so I do not know whether this is employee negligence..or if the employees are instructed to promote toasting without notifying the customer that they will be charged a toasting tax for this. I should mention a few times I was not charged the toasting tax..so I don't know if that was employee error..or a courtesy..it's only 49 cents..but still there should be consistency in pricing for the customers who budget themselves.

I don't mind paying it at all..but I feel if something that in one form is 5 dollars as advertised..but in another form or if heated a tax is applied..that the customer should be forewarned so they can then decide if the chicken heating tax..or the toasting tax is worth paying the tax before being charged it.

No big deal really..but I know I can't get away with that with my customers or there would be bloody hell to pay..even over 49 cents.
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#19 Consumer Comment

Thank our lovely State Officials...

AUTHOR: Robert - (U.S.A.)

I bet you saw the name and the first thought was..oh here they come defending the store.  Well, I guess in a way I am, or at least trying to explain why they are doing it.  They are actually following(or trying to follow) the regulations for Sales Tax from the State of California.  So if they are charging tax it is going to the State and not Subway, although I almost think that Subway could probably make more use of it.

Since you are in LA you are "fortunate" enough to have a 9.75% sales tax, on $5 that does come to $0.49(well $0.4875 but rounded up).  You thought Bank Terms and Conditions was a lot of fine print..well you ain't seen nothing until you look at the Sales Tax codes.  Just the section that describes how to handle tax on Food Products is 13 pages and there are over 100 other sections covering just about every other industry type.

The basic rule it appears they are applying is that on Cold-Food for Take-Out Sales Tax is not required.  However, the second that they "heat" any item then they have to charge tax.  It actually appears that they should be charging tax on everything, but they must have some condition in the regs that don't require it on the strictly cold items.

Try this if you want to see how crazy the regulations can be.  Go to any Starbucks and order a Cold Drink(such as Ice Tea), they will not charge you tax(at least I have never been charged).  Then go into a Starbucks that is not a Stand-Alone(such as inside a Target).  Order the same drink..10 to 1 they will charge you Tax.  The reason..the default is that it is NOT To-Go and it is tied to a another type of store.  But you may be surprised at some of the answers you get if you ask the person there. 

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#20 Consumer Comment

Eating in or out tax

AUTHOR: Efrain - (U.S.A.)

 From what I understand if you will be eating at the restauarant they have to tax as compared to eating out. At the Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf they do the same, if you are eating or drinking in you have to pay tax, compared if its take-out you don't get taxed.
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