How do you balance the interests of a F&B business during a pandemic and a customer who wants a freebie without following the rules? We don’t exactly know, so you be the judge between this alleged loyal customer of Joy Luck Tea House and the owner, TV producer Robert Chua.
Just to be clear, though, the amount in question here is $2.20.
Customer begged for a reusable bag
In a Facebook post by Robert Chua, the owner of Joy Luck Tea House, he revealed the messages by a dismayed, unnamed customer regarding their in-store promotion. From the messages, the promotion appears to be a free reusable bag when a customer buys $30 worth of product–presumably their wondrous egg tarts.
The messages, though, are allegedly from a loyal customer but the sentiment is quite negative, which included threats of boycotting the brand and calling on others to boycott as well over the perceived shabby treatment.
The customer said that she asked for a reusable bag after purchasing just shy of the $30 required amount, and pointing out that the people in front of her allegedly bought only $33. Her bill only went up to $27.80 but she demanded the reusable bag from the store attendant citing that she spent weekly at their store and was their regular customer.
The customer said that they spent $25 at the store every week and that should have entitled her to a bag–even if the minimum purchase amount required was $30.
She called the customer service replies inflexible and the policy of the store stingy.
A customer posted a comment on their public Facebook page expressing the same sentiment as the irate customer in the brand’s private messages. It is unclear whether the two are connected, but Robert Chua liked the comment asking if the person who commented and the person in the PM’s were the same.
Robert Chua responds
The man who brought Joy Luck Tea House to Singapore clapped back, eschewing the usual reaction of brands to bow to customers who express such negative comments intensely.
Robert did not mince words, and denounced the customer as greedy and unreasonable in capital letters. He did not post the customer’s name but he alleged that the person was a woman. He also said that the minimum purchase price would not have been a problem if the woman only bought one more egg tart at $2.30 and would only be 10 cents over the threshold.
Netizens bash customer
In a reasonable response to this minor but amusing hullabaloo, netizens have quite a balanced response. Most of the commenters were on Robert and Joy Luck Tea House’s side, but some told them that in the face of such a difficult customer, it would have been better to maintain their policy and not clap back.
This commenter said that the customer was such a pain for debating for a simple bag. But he gives her his vote for still saying what she wanted to say, no matter how toxic and entitled it was.
This commenter, on the other hand, questioned being a true fan of the brand if it’s so hard to spend $30. They also commended the staff for being polite.
This commenter said that the woman was not a real fan since she didn’t want to spend $30.
While this commenter proposed a lifetime reward vs a one-time reward. Maybe they need to give the entitled customer an ID that says “Loyal Customer.”
And two commenters called the customer greedy, horrible, and a Karen.
In the end, Robert Chua stands by his staff, and the customer did not get her reusable bag. Maybe she was so desperate to rep the brand on-the-go with the latest free reusable bag.
Header image from Robert Chua Facebook page