Isn't it $4.50? Customer upset after hawker quotes higher price for chicken rice - turns out he's not the only one

PHOTO: Facebook/Peter Lau

When Malaysia announced its halt of chicken exports in late May, what followed was a flurry of hawkers around the island scrambling to make adjustments.

Hawker chain Tong Fong Fatt Hainanese Boneless Chicken Rice was no different, raising its chicken rice prices to $4.50 from June 16 onwards.

However, a customer recently found out the new price list may not be as straightforward as it seems.

After Peter Lau was allegedly quoted a higher price than listed when ordering his plate of chicken rice at 16 Bedok South Road on Aug 4, he took to the Facebook group Complaint Singapore to share his experience.

"They advertise their chicken rice at $4.50. However, upon placing order [sic], they'll ask you if you want $5.50 or $6.50," the post read.

Lau questioned why the prices quoted did not match what was stated on the new price list. Supposedly, all he got for a response was "kampung chicken is expensive".

While he did not seem too convinced by the reasoning provided, Lau simply paid the higher price to avoid the hassle of having to queue at another food stall.

The following day, it happened again to another customer, said Lau. 

This time, Lau watched from afar as the customer also paid up, despite the inconsistencies between the price listed and the price quoted.

It seems as though these are not isolated events as a number of Tong Fong Fatt Hainanese Boneless Chicken Rice's customers have taken to Facebook and Google to share their displeasure.

A Google reviewer gave Tong Fong Fatt Hainanese Boneless Chicken Rice's Bedok South Road outlet a one-star rating and began her complaint by saying that she "would give zero stars if I had the chance".

Her review added: "The sign says $2.50 or $3.50 [for a plate of chicken rice], but the verbal options given are $3.50 or $4.50."

It didn't help that the staff was allegedly unhappy when she requested the $3.50 order and packed "two scrawny chicken wing tips and two mid wings to go with the rice".

PHOTOS: Screengrabs from Google 
PHOTO: Screengrab/Facebook/Complaint Singapore 

Based on the comments online, this isn't the only Tong Fong Fatt Hainanese Boneless Chicken Rice outlet displaying such behaviour.

One Facebook user was very clear on their feelings on this stall and the franchise as a whole, saying he would "siam away", or avoid all its outlets as they have the "same tactics". 

Many others chipped in by providing accounts of their experiences at different outlets, from Woodlands to Kovan.

PHOTO: Screengrab/Facebook/Complaint Singapore 

Lau concluded his Facebook post by saying that the stall's staff had employed a similar tactic on him previously, and appealed to the chain's management to solve the issue.

"I urge Tong Fong Fatt management to look into the issue and update the advertised price to avoid confusion."

AsiaOne has reached out to Tong Fong Fatt Hainanese Boneless Chicken Rice for more information. 

This isn't Tong Fong Fatt Hainanese Boneless Chicken Rice first brush with controversy. 

In December 2019, a woman cried foul after her 13-year-old daughter was allegedly charged $4.50 for a plate of chicken rice at the franchise's Kovan outlet.

The price was "supposed to be $3.50" but her daughter was offered either $$4.50 or $5.50. She was furious upon knowing this and had a verbal altercation with the stall employee thereafter.

ALSO READ: 'Economic noodles selling at non-economical price': Singapore diners complain of high food prices, shrinking portions

amierul@asiaone.com