There’s always two sides of the argument – two sides of the coin – and we have to get to the bottom of each side to get a firm answer to the problem they pose for us. However, compelling evidence would make us believe that one side is at fault and the other one is the one being taken advantage of.
A case in point happens to be the post against Chen Dynasty – a specialty paluto restaurant located along Macapagal Boulevard by FB user Aeron Lean who claims they have been victims of overpricing and inefficient service by the restaurant staff during their celebration of their grandmother’s birthday. According to the post, they ordered a number of viands that ran a total of Php 34,000 – a bill that they claimed was padded and was overpriced compared to the prevailing rates in the market.
They claimed that their server approached them and apprised them that if their viands were not delectable enough then they would not have to pay a cent – probably an enticement they found so hard to refuse. Another gem that they believed is that there would be no service charge – something that is rare in the industry and a probable come-on that cinched their decision to choose the restaurant over its competition.
And with gusto, their group ordered a small feast which they knew would satisfy their cravings and help them celebrate the momentous occasion in their relative’s life. It consisted of a mix of Filipino dishes and seafood viands that were truly delectable to look at and taste. The problem, as per their recollection, started when they placed their order and it took a long time to arrive – making them ravenous enough after an hour’s wait. They noticed that the orders were not up to par – the servings seemed to be small compared to what they ordered and the taste was not really acceptable to them. However, due to their hunger and their desire to have a family meal, they ate with relish, documenting everything as is their wont.
And then their bill arrived – and boy, were they knocked cleanly out of their socks with the astronomical bill they accumulated – a total of Php 34,000. So they began to wonder if they what they consumed was commensurate with the bill and demanded a breakdown and an explanation. And here’s the short version – they found out that their bill was highly overpriced and that the promised no service charge was just a figment of their imagination – as it totaled upwards of Php 10,000 and covered as cooking and kitchen charges – an attempt at sleight of hand, perhaps? – that they did not appreciate.
Out of their anger, they managed to whittle the cost down to Php 20,000 but to their dismay, their receipt reflected only Php 10,000 a practice that is unacceptable in their eyes and the official receipt wasn’t even registered at the Bureau of Internal Revenue – another red flag that they noticed. And so they insisted that the total amount of Php 20,000 be reflected just to settle the argument. They left after that – probably with full bellies but with an awful taste in their mouths for being subjected to such practices.
Social media commenters were quick to side with them citing that this practice needs to be reported and not tolerated because it is tantamount to highway robbery – and on Filipinos by their fellow Filipinos at that. Others waxed sarcastic insinuating that the food was laced in gold and was too much for their taste. Others wanted to hear the other side of the story and in fact posted in the thread a supposed answer to the post from the server himself. A glance and a quick read shows their side of the story but opens up a whole lot of questions that still need to be answered.
And while it may seem to be a case of a family seeking retribution for something that left a bad memory, we might have something much more on our hands and it would be up to the proper authorities to sort this out. Consumers need to be protected from such unscrupulous practices and commercial establishments have to be totally upfront with their pricing from the get go to avoid a repeat of this fiasco. This does not bode well for our efforts to attract more consumerism from both local and foreign sources – if we cannot do it properly, then how would it reflect upon us in the long run?