Diner surprised to pay 10% CNY 'top-up' charge for coin prata and drinks at IMM cafe: 'I regret'

Submitted by Stomper Ong

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It is common practice for some businesses to charge more during the Chinese New Year festive period.

Yet, a diner was taken aback by a 10 per cent "CNY top-up" charge for the food he ordered at a cafe in a Jurong East mall.

Stomper Ong had ordered for his wife and himself four pieces of coin prata, a teh o and teh peng from Cafe 0 in IMM on Feb 9 at 1.39pm.

When he reviewed his receipt, the Stomper was surprised to find additional "CNY top-up" charges.

"I thought it was not right that they didn't inform us about the CNY surcharges beforehand," said the Stomper.

So he returned to the cashier where he made the order to check whether there were any signs about the surcharge.

That was when he took a photo of a small red sign at the front counter that read: "We are open throughout Chinese New Year!"

"I remember seeing the sign when I first ordered, but I didn't notice the small print," said the Stomper.

The small print said: "Please note that there will be a 10 per cent Festive Charge between Feb 9 and 12."

"I guess it was my own fault for not reading it carefully," lamented the Stomper.

"But then when I checked my receipt again, the CNY charge was more than 10 per cent."

According to the receipt that the Stomper shared, the four pieces of coin prata were $4, but the "CNY topup prata" charge was 50 cents.

The teh peng was $3.30, but the "CNY topup cold drinks" charge was also 50 cents.

The teh o was $2.80 and the "CNY topup charge" was 30 cents, which was acceptable to the Stomper but not the other two "CNY topup" charges.

"I wonder if it's actually a flat CNY surcharge depending on the item rather than a 10 per cent surcharge," said the Stomper.

"I regret not ordering the seven-piece coin prata for $5.50. It would have been more worth it."

Complaints about other eateries, such as Qiji and White Express, charging more for CNY have also been posted online.

A spokesperson for Qiji told Shin Min Daily News that the 10 per cent CNY surcharge has been around for years and helps to offset the extra pay that employees get for working during the festive period.

The Stomper said: "I can accept paying the CNY surcharge, but I just like to be notified about it first."

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