Invasion of privacy? NUS student slams restaurant for contacting school over negative review

PHOTO: Screengrab/Douyin, Facebook/Chicken Hotpot

Was it a reasonable action to prevent scams or an invasion of privacy?

A National University of Singapore (NUS) student is not buying into a restaurant's explanation that they contacted her school to check if the email she had written to them was sent from a scam account.

On Wednesday (Jan 19), Koh Xiu Wen, the student in question, went on Instagram Stories to accuse Chicken Hotpot of "violating [her] privacy".

In a series of Instagram Stories, Koh questioned the restaurant's motives behind contacting her school.

She said: "What I heard from NUS is very different. The restaurant told them that a student posted a negative review and damaged their reputation. It was not for the purpose of checking as they claimed.

"The intention of doing so is very obvious, and I have communicated to their staff that I felt threatened."

Koh defended her rights to post a negative online review and said: "So is every business entitled to use consumer information to do due checks that was not stated in their privacy policy?

"Is being done [sic] a background 'check' not a violation of my privacy?"

'Terrible experience'

It started on Jan 2 when Koh visited their Compass One outlet and had a "terrible experience". In addition to emailing the restaurant, she also detailed the visit on a Douyin video that was published the next day.

In the two-minute clip, Koh shared that the restaurant charged her $2 for a side dish of peanuts that she thought was complimentary.


When she asked about the charge, the waitress, according to Koh, responded rudely by saying: "This is how we do it at our shop."

Adding that she paid for the peanuts in the end, Koh said: "It's not about the money. But I felt I was being misled. Is this how you run a restaurant with this kind of attitude?"

Describing the video as "scarring" that created "bad vibes", Chicken Hotpot accused Koh of feigning ignorance and "choosing to put all the blame on the reseller".

In a Facebook post on Monday, the restaurant wrote: "Unfortunately for Chicken Hotpot, Ms Koh had no patience to wait for our internal investigations."

Chicken Hotpot added: "Her email came from an important organisation domain address. In view of the many scams happening lately, respectfully we did our due diligence check with NUS.

"To us, this is a reasonable act. We did not misuse any of her information."


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