22nd September 2023 – (Hong Kong) A group of netizens recently shared their dining experience at a restaurant in Wong Tai Sin on a Facebook group. They recounted how they had visited the establishment with elderly relatives, hoping for an affordable and satisfying meal. The group ordered a set menu priced at HK$698, which they believed would be sufficient for five seniors and a domestic helper. However, when it came time to settle the bill, they were shocked to discover that the restaurant had charged them around HK$1,100, claiming that they had been served a different, more expensive set menu.
The frustrated poster questioned the sudden price hike, scrutinizing the bill and realizing that they had been switched from Set Menu B to Set Menu A, despite the handwritten order clearly specifying Set Menu B. Comparing the menus they had photographed, Set Menu B included dishes such as “Baked King Prawn with Superior Soup and Yee Mein” and “Steamed Fresh Garoupa,” while the pricier Set Menu A featured “Baked Australian Lobster with Superior Soup and Yee Mein” and “Steamed Live Star Garoupa.” Both menus included “Braised Abalone with Seasonal Vegetables” and a choice of one additional side dish.
Seeking an explanation, the disgruntled customer pointed out the discrepancy to the cashier, only to receive a dismissive response: “You’ve already eaten it.” Feeling frustrated, she challenged the staff, questioning the decision to charge an extra HK$300, stating that the handwritten order clearly indicated Set Menu B priced at HK$698. The cashier remained confident, arguing that the two set menus differed significantly in terms of ingredients, and suggesting that the customer should have noticed the difference, asking, “Didn’t you realise the fish was different? Why didn’t you speak up before eating? Now that you’ve eaten it and enjoyed it, you want it to be more lavish for the elderly?”
The dissatisfied customer expressed her discontent, vowing never to patronise the establishment again. She even questioned the restaurant’s integrity, accusing them of deliberately targeting senior citizens. She speculated, “Based on the waitress’s professional reaction and confident responses, there’s reason to believe that this is not an isolated incident. It’s clear that they intentionally switched the menu to charge a few hundred extra dollars.”
The incident sparked a heated discussion among netizens. Some argued that the customer should have been able to differentiate between the dishes, even while engaged in conversation, and questioned why she hadn’t raised any concerns at the time. Comments such as, “Didn’t you know what you were eating while chatting? The fact is, you did eat it. Did you think that the shrimp balls magically transformed into lobster? You ate it, so now you have to pay for it,” and “Order mix-ups happen often, but the problem is that you accepted and ate the wrong dish without saying anything. It’s the restaurant’s loss, not the customer’s responsibility,” were common.
On the other hand, some netizens believed that even if the wrong dishes were served, the restaurant should take responsibility for the error. They argued that insisting on charging the higher amount only added to the confusion. Comments like, “Didn’t you know what you were eating while chatting? The fact is, you did eat it. Did you think that the shrimp balls magically transformed into lobster? You ate it, so now you have to pay for it,” and “They saw that you had elderly people with you and assumed you wouldn’t make a big fuss. You should report it to the authorities with evidence. They should definitely be held accountable,” reflected these sentiments.