Businesses scrap CNY surcharge after customers' complaints
Some businesses reverse decision to increase prices during CNY
It is common for businesses to impose surcharges during Chinese New Year, but some have called off their plans to do so after feedback from customers.
HOW Car Grooming Centre in Sengkang told The New Paper they had planned to implement a surcharge of $30 since last Monday, but decided against it after hearing customers' grouses.
The centre's marketing manager, who gave her name only as Eve, said they wanted to use the extra income from the surcharge to provide better welfare for their workers.
"But we won't be doing so now because we received feedback from customers about the prices being too expensive and they can better spend the money elsewhere," she said.
"We understand that the economy is bad now and customers' support and satisfaction is more important to us, so we decided to waive the surcharge."
Eyelash extensions service Vivlash Beauty Studio in Bedok will be doing the same.
Owner Vivian Tang said: "I wanted to impose a $10 to $20 surcharge, but my friends said everyone would impose a surcharge during the festive season, so why not be different and share the joy with others."
Mobile oyster bar, The Oyster Cart, had initially stated on its website that it would be charging an additional $50 fee for bookings after Jan 14.
But the founder of the four-year-old bar, Adam Loo, 29, told TNP they have not imposed the extra charge on five bookings so far.
"Our reason for the surcharge is to encourage customers to book early so that we can plan our schedule properly," said Mr Loo.
"But right now, if customers can take up the available time slots we have, we will do away with the surcharge."
For businesses that are going ahead with raising prices, a lack of manpower and crowd management are some reasons they cited for imposing it.
Beauty parlour Ohnails SG in Thomson said they started imposing a surcharge of $10 since Jan 9 and will increase the amount up till the eve of CNY.
Owner Cleo Chew, 24, said she informed her customers about the surcharge through social media last month.
Noting that it is common to have surcharges during the festive period as they need to employ more staff and work overtime, Ms Chew said: "There are always a lot of people booking their nail appointments as CNY draws closer, and everyone wants to book the same slots.
"I have and am planning to employ one or two more freelancers to help out but it is not easy as their requested pay is very high."
Co-founder of steamboat delivery company Mr Steamboat, Mr Benson Chan, agrees.
He told TNP that the company had implemented a CNY surcharge of $30 since yesterday.
"We have exceeded our capacity of 200 orders per day and needed about 20 to 25 more drivers to help with the deliveries."
Several salons and a pet grooming centre TNP spoke to said they will be rewarding their staff with the proceeds of the increased prices.
"It will also help to spread the customers out so that they don't cram (their appointments) into the last week of CNY," said Ms Bernice Chen, owner of pet grooming centre Petpawroni in Sentosa, who will be imposing a surcharge of $15 from today till Jan 26, with an additional $5 surcharge on Jan 27.
"Also, 20 per cent of the surcharge collected will go to our staff's red packets."