Customer Complains Of Pricey Prawns, Stallholder Says They’re Large & Imported
Singapore is rightly known for our abundance of cheap and good food.
However, certain delicacies come at a premium here, even in the absence of posh surroundings.
Take seafood, for example. One customer paid the princely sum of $67 for 5 prawns (and rice) at a Clementi seafood stall.
In response to his complaints, the stallholder said he was informed of the price, but still paid up.
Customer rages over pricey meal
After his meal, the disgruntled customer, predictably, took to Facebook to complain about it.
In a post in the Complaint Singapore Facebook page, he raged over paying $67 for 5 “medium prawns”.
He also pointed out that his meal was at a coffee shop, not a restaurant.
Additionally, he claimed that the prawns weren’t fresh, and warned others to avoid the stall.
Stallholder confirms serving customer
For foodies who’re wondering, the stall in question is located at Block 450, Clementi Avenue 3, reported Lianhe Zaobao.
The paper managed to talk to the boss, Mr Yan Die, to get his side of the story.
The 67-year-old confirmed serving the customer at about 10pm on Thursday (7 Oct) night.
He added that he was a 50-year-old man who was drinking alone, and ordered 5 salted egg yolk prawns with rice.
Prawns were large & imported, says boss
However, contrary to what the customer claimed, Mr Yan said the prawns he ordered were not “medium prawns” but large prawns from the sea.
They weighed 670g, he added, and imported prawns of this sort usually cost $55 for 1kg – it can go up to $100 during Chinese New Year.
Mr Yan holding the prawns up to show how big they are
Thus, he claimed to have made a profit of just $15 on the customer’s order.
That’s not excessive if you consider that he must also pay rental and his staff’s salaries, he reasoned.
Customer was told of price
Besides, Mr Yan said he’d told the customer that the price of the prawns was $67.
If he’d thought that it was too expensive, why did he pay, the stallholder asked.
In fact, he remembered that the man cleaned up his entire meal, and said just 1 thing before he left: that the prawns were “3 times more expensive” than at other places.
Boss has been in business for 37 years
However, Mr Yan said that he charged according to what the prawns weighed, and didn’t cheat anybody.
In fact, he’s been in this business for 37 years and had no complaints till now. He also claimed to have many repeat customers who make a special trip to eat at his stall.
Mr Lee Boon Cheow, the former president of the Singapore Fish Merchants’ General Association, said $55 for 1kg of large sea prawns isn’t a ridiculous amount.
Some stalls can even charge $60 for a single prawn, he added, as sea prawns are more expensive than farmed ones.
Other patrons side with stallholder
Other coffee shop patrons interviewed by Zaobao agreed that the man could’ve refused to pay if he found them expensive.
Mr Tang, a 53-year-old retiree, said it’s strange that he complained about the price only after he paid and finished his food.
He also felt that if he’d eaten the same meal at a restaurant, it would’ve cost more than $67.
Mr Xiao, a 56-year-old retiree, said he’d heard that the Clementi stall sold large prawns, though he’d never patronised them.
However, he passed on some words of wisdom for potential customers,
The prices of food ordered outside can’t be compared with the prices of the ingredients.
Let the buyer beware
While $67 is indeed a hefty sum to pay for a meal at a coffee shop, unless you’re running the business, you’ll never know what the profit margins are.
And it’s also true that if it’s a legit Singapore business, if you’re quoted a price you’re unhappy with right from the start, you can always refuse and walk away.
As always, when you’re a consumer it will do you good to keep a clear mind and remember that every transaction is at your own risk.
Do you think the prawns are worth $67? And could the customer have just walked away? Do share your thoughts with us.
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