Student in Starbucks seat hogging case apologises

SINGAPORE - The student who became a target of online derision after she posted a complaint on Starbucks Singapore's Facebook page has apologised for her actions.

Responding to media queries by The Straits Times, Millennia Institute principal Tan Wan Yu said that the school has "engaged the student and her parents to provide counselling and support to help her reflect on her actions."

She added that the student has apologised for her actions. She told The Straits Times that students have access to the school's study facilities such as library discussion rooms and dedicated study areas throughout the year.

The student, Huixin Yap, had gotten herself into hot water after she posted a comment on Starbucks' Facebook page on Monday, complaining that her belongings had been "kept in a basket" by a Starbucks staff member after she and her friends had left the CityLink Mall outlet for half an hour.

She said that, while she understood she and her friends should not have hogged the seats, she was upset that the Starbucks manager had "lectured" them.

But netizens defended the coffee chain, with some saying that Ms Yap was lucky that Starbucks had kept her things in a basket.

In response, Starbucks said in a Facebook post that it is not reprimanding the manager but "felt that we could have communicated a tad better".

It added: "We try our best to make sure Starbucks is a cafe that can be enjoyed by all and that everyone feels welcome at our stores. That includes improving our service standards but also communicating our policies."

The student has since taken down her Facebook profile and her post from the Starbucks page is not there any more.