SINGAPORE: A disgruntled diner took to social media on Friday (May 10) to complain that a certain food establishment had charged her S$1 for a small cup of hot water.

In a post on the Facebook group COMPLAINT SINGAPORE, Ms Ng wrote, “How much is a cup of water in Singapore? Kaffe & Toast charge $1 for a small cup of tap water (hot). Isn’t this considered unethical pricing!”

She further added, “Though many can make the choice of not patronizing the shop but someone needs to voice out. I personally feel that this kind of pricing should not be a benchmark for others to follow. It is setting a precedent for unnatural inflation.”

Accompanying her post was a photo of her order, showing two small cups—one with coffee and the other with hot water—and the receipts. The receipts indicated that the establishment was located at Sengkang General Hospital, and the visit took place on May 10.

In the first receipt, Ms Ng ordered Kopi C and Teh O, priced at $2.20 and $2, respectively. Shortly after, she ordered a small cup of water, which cost $1.

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“This is called daytime robbery.”

The online post has since garnered 76 likes and generated discussions among fellow members. Many expressed solidarity with Ms Ng’s frustration over the seemingly high price of a small cup of hot water at Kaffe & Toast.

One netizen said, “This is called daytime robbery.”

Another netizen also took a shot at the services provided in some coffee shops, saying, “Coffee shops are money leeches!! Service by aunties is the worst service you can get! Never ever patronize them!”

Meanwhile, a third netizen defended the establishment and said the $1 cost “is not just for the water.”

He wrote, “It’s for the staff, the service, for the dish washing, for the accounting software, for the profit margin, the location, rental, and so on. But yeah, it’s expensive.”

This conversation extended beyond Facebook, as Ms Ng’s post was also shared across two Singaporean subreddits, r/Singapore and r/Singaporehappenings.

In the discussion threads, a few Redditors shared that these establishments may have decided to charge $1 for hot water to discourage some aunties and uncles “who come into the establishments just to bring their own tea bag, make their own tea, and sit there the whole day.”

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One Redditor added, “It’s a capitalist world. Businesses can charge whatever they want. If you don’t find its value for your money, you can go elsewhere.”

However, a few others disagreed and said that water should be free.

One Redditor stated, “Most countries don’t charge for water, whereas Singapore tries to nickel and dime you for tissue, and water even at places like paradise or other Singaporean Chinese restaurants.

It honestly blows my mind that people don’t fight back on this.”

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