Has culture of deception become the norm here?

When I think of unscrupulous and deceptive business practices in Singapore, I cannot help but remember the viral video of the tourist on bended knee asking for a refund in Sim Lim Square.

However, I wonder if Singaporeans have grown accustomed to a culture of deception and unethical behaviour.

Recently, I stopped at FairPrice in Changi Airport's Terminal 3 to buy a drink. At the checkout counter, I was told it cost $1.40.

I told the cashier that the electronic price tag clearly stated $1.25, and accompanied her over to the fridge to show her the price tag.

She then said that my drink cost more because it was chilled.

She then pointed to a small sign at the very top of the fridge that said a 15-cent charge would be added for chilled drinks.

How many people would look up to the top of the fridge to read that sign when they buy a drink?

How many people would look up to the top of the fridge to read that sign when they buy a drink?
One expects to pay whatever price is stated below the drink and not have to look around for miscellaneous signs for other charges.

One expects to pay whatever price is stated below the drink and not have to look around for miscellaneous signs for other charges.

I would not be surprised if small businesses use such deceptive practices to make a quick buck, but I expect much more from a company that carries the "FairPrice" label.

Have we become a society that practices caveat emptor?

What message are we sending out to tourists about Singapore and Singaporeans when we allow businesses in Changi Airport to operate this way?

Allen Chong (Dr)

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 22, 2017, with the headline 'Has culture of deception become the norm here?'. Print Edition | Subscribe