Singapore — Food and beverage establishments are well-versed in miscommunications with customers, hence the practice of repeating an order before preparing the meal. In a recent case, however, a fishball noodle seller was on the receiving end of a customer complaint about cooking a more expensive version of a dish.
After preparing a S$3 dish from her menu, fishball noodle seller, Ms Tay, later discovered that the customer wanted the version that was S$1 cheaper. The mistake resulted in the seller allegedly being told off by the customer’s mother.
According to the girl’s mother, Ms Tay had upsold the dish without their consent. However, the hawker reiterated that she had asked the girl four times to confirm her order yet did not receive a reply.
It was reported that when the girl handed Ms Tay a S$2 note for the order, the hawker asked if she wanted the S$2 portion. The girl didn’t respond and pulled out a S$5 note instead.
As the duo was seated in front of her stall, Ms Tay overheard their conversation, with the girl telling her mother that she was overcharged for the order.
Upon hearing the girl’s statement, Ms Tay walked up to the customers and explained that she did not overcharge a S$2 order because she had prepared a S$3 version, reported Chinese newspaper Shin Min Daily News on Dec 10.
As Ms Tay tried explaining the situation, the mother reportedly shouted at her to go away, which she did as she did not want to cause any trouble.
Ms Tay shared with Shin Min Daily News that she had been selling fishball noodles at her stall, located at 409 AMK Market and Food Centre, for over two decades. She offers S$2 and S$3 portions, containing five and eight fishballs, respectively.
She noted that the incident happened due to miscommunication, adding that it was not the first time she had encountered the mother-daughter duo. Still, she welcomes them to patronise her stall again.
It was reported that the mother had also put up a post on Facebook but later took it down.
Members from the online community noted that the hawker deserved respect and wondered why such a fuss was made over S$1.
“I think the hawker deserves some respect. I didn’t know still got S$2 hawker food nowadays!” said Facebook user Estelle Chow in a comment with over 260 likes.
“Why didn’t the mother do a fact check with both parties first before complaining on Facebook. She seems to have anger management issues by hysterically shouting without listening. And instead of just deleting her post she should have posted an apology since the misinformation had already been shared to many viewers,” noted Facebook user Moll Enomoto.
Meanwhile, many others were shocked that there were still food stalls offering S$2 noodles.
“Thanks for the news. Found new food stall to support,” said netizen Mark Liao.
“I think after this, all will flock to try the S$2 noodles. Now everywhere selling S$3.50 minimum,” added Facebook user Amanda Soh.
Some netizens also noted that the mother could have been teaching her daughter how to order independently yet failed in her approach.
“I think most importantly don’t traumatise your child for something so trivial. Instead of teaching her to be independent, it might make her more afraid to order food in future,” said one Clara Lin ZX.
Netizen Marco Ng also shared that it was customary for the stall to confirm a customer’s order. “This stall quite okie one. I ate few times before. Proper hawker doing business. Is miscommunication for sure. Very rare to see $2 noodle liao. They also gt quite good business from grab delivery. Always busy. They always ask properly how much everytime I order.” /TISG