Woman Calls Out FairPrice Staff For Not Speaking English, Supermarket Investigating

Woman Calls Out FairPrice Staff For Not Speaking English

In a multiracial society like Singapore’s, some workers might struggle with language barriers as they have yet to master the common language spoken.

This ‘chicken talking to a duck situation’ tends to worsen when a purchase goes wrong.

When a woman at City Square FairPrice supermarket realised that the staff serving her could not communicate in English, she decided to record their conversation and post a video online.

She also documented her unhappiness over the way the staff had cut the fish, saying it wasn’t done correctly.

NTUC FairPrice is aware of the incident, and they’re currently investigating.

Woman asks FairPrice staff why she doesn’t speak English

The customer uploaded footage of the incident to YouTube on 21 Mar, which took place at the fish stall of a FairPrice outlet at City Square.

It started with her questioning why the employee was working in a FairPrice outlet in Singapore if she could not communicate in English.

Source: YouTube

When the employee could not reply, the customer switched to Chinese, asking her if she spoke English. To this, she responded that she was learning.

Unfortunately, the customer still couldn’t understand her words, and eventually, she began ordering what she wanted.

Approaches customer service to complain

In the next part of the video, the customer complained about the employee to another staff at the outlet, presumably someone in a managerial position.

Telling the manager, whom the woman refers to as ‘team lead’ in the video, that the staff couldn’t speak English, she asked why patrons had to deal with “such people”.

Source: YouTube

The customer moved on to enquire about the status of her work pass, going so far as to allege that she had a salary of more than S$4,000.

She then claimed that the employee should not work in the store, as she could not communicate with customers in English.

Showing the staff her recording, she again said the employee should not have been given such a position in the outlet.

The customer also pointed out that the employee had cut her fish up badly. “How do you explain my fish like this?”

Source: YouTube

Refusing to accept the staff’s explanation, she repeatedly emphasised, “It’s not miscommunication. She cannot communicate.”

“She has to be on par before she’s over there,” she said.

Demands that staff learn proper fish-cutting methods

The customer demanded that the staff be taught how to disembowel and cut fish “the right way”.

Returning to the stall, she watched as the staff in question was supervised cutting the fish up again.

Repeatedly criticising her cutting methods, the customer was eventually satisfied with how the fish was sliced.

However, she still stressed that the staff should speak English better.

The employee immediately agreed with her, and the video ended with the customer leaving.

FairPrice investigating matter

In response to MS News’ queries, a FairPrice spokesperson said they would thoroughly investigate the matter.

You can find their statement in full below.

We are aware of the video regarding this incident. We acknowledge that the customer in the video could have had a better shopping experience, and rest assured, we will conduct a thorough investigation into this matter.

To help us along, we invite the customer to contact us at 6380 5858 or via fairprice.com.sg/help/feedback-general to provide more details.

At FairPrice, training programmes on food preparation, safety and cleanliness are in place to ensure employees have the skills and knowledge to handle and prepare food safely. Customers can be assured of our ‘Freshness Guaranteed’ policy, where they can return or exchange fresh food products of an unsatisfactory quality at the same store of purchase, together with their receipt.

We would also like to remind all our customers to treat our employees with respect as our in-store teams do their best daily to provide a pleasant shopping experience for all.

The spokesperson added that they also provided the customer a replacement for the fish she had ordered.

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Featured image adapted from YouTube.

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