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

Usually, when a restaurant gets a negative review from any customer, they recognize the issue and consider what needs to be improved in the service.

Well, a restaurant in Compass Point, Sengkang called Chicken Hotpot took matters into their own hands and contacted the university where one of their customers goes after she posted a negative review about their service on social media.

Read on for more information about the issue in this news today Singapore.

The negative review

Xu Xiuwen, a student from National University of Singapore posted a negative review of Chicken Hotpot on Google and Douyin.

According to Xu, when she and her friends ate at the restaurant, they were charged $2 for a peanut side dish that they thought were complementary. She said that they were not informed beforehand that it was a separate dish from what they ordered.

Xu said that they can afford to pay for the side dish but what she couldn’t bear is the way she and her friends were treated by the restaurant employees after she asked for further explanation on the charge. She said that the waitress responded with “This is how we do it at our shop.”

She also said that the waitress was rude to her and continued to ignore her and her friends even during the payment process.

As a response, she posted a negative review on Douyin for the terrible experience she had.

A feedback that transformed into a threat

After the review, she expected a direct response from the restaurant for an apology or a resolution but she was shocked by what happened next.

Instead, she received a call from her university, telling her that Chicken Hotpot had contacted them. She recalled that she left her student email from the review, but she never expected that her feedback would rebound as a threat.

She felt that the intention of the owner of the restaurant was to threaten her to remove the review via her school and use her academic grades as a consequence. However, the school reassured Xu that the call will not affect her studies.

Eventually, the waitress apologized to her and she received a refund for the cost of the side dish, however the true issue was not about the money.

An elaborate reviewing process

After the incident, Xu posted an elaborate explanation of her point about the issue in an Instagram story in the style of an academic Powerpoint presentation. Using images and texts, she explained what really went down and the root of the problem.

She said that money was never an issue, the restaurant served them a side dish that had no indicator in their menu that it was chargeable. Also, she politely asked the waitress about the charge but instead she was treated poorly and ignored by the waitress, which made the dining experience more terrible.

Possible violation of her privacy

What is more disturbing is the way the restaurant took action about the matter and contacting her school instead of reaching out directly to her. 

The actions of Chicken Hotpot could be a potential violation of the Personal Data Protection Act, a law that protects the data privacy of citizens in Singapore.

Xu elaborated in her presentation that a customer has the right to voice out their opinions if their terrible dining experiences were true. However, if the restaurant uses your personal data to try to threaten you to remove the review, that was a violation of personal data privacy.


What Xu experienced in dining at Chicken Hotpot is a clear testimony that restaurants had to teach their employees to treat customers fairly and try to improve their services to avoid the same mistakes again.