Hawkers should be fair to their customers

Although the recent findings about hawkers ("Case urges all hawkers to display prices"; Oct 31) deserve attention, displaying food prices may not necessarily translate into fairer business practices.

For instance, when a customer requests less ice for a glass of sugar cane juice, he would be charged about 20 cents more.

The reasoning is that less ice would mean having to put more sugar cane juice in the glass, and the buyer has to be charged a premium.

Here, the "savings" of less ice would be ignored.

Yet, when a customer requests more ice for a glass of sugar cane juice, he would also be charged an extra 20 cents.

The reasoning here is that ice costs money.

We should put a stop to this illogical and unreasonable way of selling, which is essentially profiteering.

There are also cases of mixed-dish rice stalls charging customers for one serving of meat when, in fact, there is only one serving of vegetables.

The stall owners would then claim that there are some slices of meat in the vegetables.

In other instances, when a customer orders bean curd topped with minced meat gravy, the meat would seem to disappear when it reaches your plate.

Yet, the price for one serving of meat would still be charged.

I hope Singapore's hawkers will adopt fairer business practices, beyond just displaying their food prices.

Teo Zhen Peng

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on November 13, 2015, with the headline 'Hawkers should be fair to their customers'. Print Edition | Subscribe