Should netizens refrain from airing ‘petty’ grouses so as not to unfairly victimise biz owners?

A RECENT furore over a FnB (food & beverage) outlet’s rounding up of bills to the nearest 10 sen instead of 5 sen had led to an impassioned plea from the franchise owner’s daughter.

In the original incident, Facebook (FB) user SharonTwoTwo highlighted what she perceived to be unethical practice of rounding up of bill amounts at the Subang Parade outlet of Nyonya Cendol.

She had posted this in various social media sites prompting plenty of feedback – many of which were negative – with her grouses even picked up by Chinese mainstream dailies Sin Chew Daily and China Press.

However, the franchise owner’s daughter, Jodie Chong YiMei, has sprung to her father’s defence with an impassioned FB post of her own.

“My dad’s restaurant went viral but not really in a good way, and I would love to explain this on his behalf as his daughter,” penned the wardrobe stylist at a dance production house.

“My dad would never have the intention to cheat any customers for 1 to 5 sen as he is 60 over years-old man and trust me, he doesn’t know how to set or use the POS (point of sale) system.

“His Subang Parade Nyonya Cendol outlet is still very brand new so it was not set in the Bank Negara Malaysia (5 sen) way.”

Jodie went on to thank SharonTwoTwo for bringing the matter to their attention and that immediate steps have been taken to rectify this.

However, she believed that alternative modes to communicate the customer’s dissatisfaction could have been employed instead of posting it all over social media.

“I know principle is principle but I hope before anyone make such a post public, he/she should also listen to the other side of the story first. There are many different and better ways to resolve problems and create awareness.”

Jodie concluded that her father is the most honest and hardworking man she has ever known, adding: “I didn’t want to interfere his business but it breaks my heart to see him upset and this might actually be affecting his business and health.”

Her post garnered plenty of moral support with all guns pointing at SharonTwoTwo:

Jason Tay Wern Hui even suggested bringing legal action against the original poster for defaming the business. He suggested some netizens were just after their 15-minute of fame hoping their post would go viral.

Miko Lee simply proclaimed: “Agreed!!!! With many branches, it is a form of defamation to the brand name before getting any clarification from their side!”

Striking back

However, SharonTwoTwo has responded to this by sticking firmly to her guns stating that she never once insinuated that the franchise was cheating customers. She also pointed out she is a long-time regular patron who enjoys the ultra-fresh cendol served by the outlet.

But as a matter of principle, she feels it imperative that this issue of rounding up to the correct decimal point be highlighted.

Given the nature of social media, perhaps SharonTwoTwo could have just posted her concerns with Nyonya Cendol’s FB page first and await their response.

After all, the staff attending to her had apologised and assured her that the issue would be brought up with management. There was no dispute and the 5 sen change was even proffered which SharonTwoTwo refused to accept.

Perhaps, there was no need for SharonTwoTwo to raise the issue on multiple platforms and social media groups. That does hint at a certain amount of attention seeking.

How would SharonTwoTwo feel if Jodie Chong’s father had an adverse health reaction due to the stress of the unwanted spotlight? God forbid, he has a heart attack from all the perceived negative publicity.

Given the knee jerk reaction of many netizens, social media users need to exercise some caution and restraint before making multiple posts that could jeopardise a person’s attempt to earn an honest living.

But that would be wishful thinking …. – Nov 15, 2023

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