Tourist livid after being charged 60p for ‘plain’ water at restaurant

A diner was furious to find she had been charged $2 (60p) for two glasses of 'plain' water at a restaurant on a recent holiday.

Now, we all know that we’re generally charged for sealed bottles of water when eating out. However, most Brits would be mightily confused if they were charged a fee for drinking water from the tap – whether this was the case is unclear. Furious at the charge, the woman took to Facebook to share her ire at the eatery. She claimed to have been handed the bill at a vegetarian restaurant in Singapore.

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Jennifer Deeva wrote on the Complaint Singapore page this Sunday, October 1: "$2 for plain water? Understandable that prices of many items have gone up but $1 for a small glass of plain water? What’s next??"

She also attached a photo of her receipt from the Adyar Ananda Bhavan restaurant – Known as AAB – showing a highlighted line of two ice waters costing $1 each. Other charges on the bill included three cups of tea for $8 (£4.79), an order of tomato uttapam – a kind of pancake – for $7 (£4.19) and two orders of onion rava dosa – like a crepe – for $14 (£8.39).

Commenters on Facebook said that it wasn’t the only restaurant to charge for plain water in Singapore. One person said: "Cut throat! Coffee shop charge 60¢, Restaurants perhaps $1 is hefty enough!"

Another added: "Jack’s place also charging 70 cents a small cup of ice water." According to one person, the charge started being put up after the Covid-19 pandemic. They claimed that before that they would charge just a few pence.

Another commenter said: "They increase the price to stay afloat but the opposite will happen…..more will avoid such establishments." While another noted: "It’s actually tap water! Next year [will be] worse…"

Some people said she should try to avoid "tourist spots", while one person argued that "every restaurant can raise prices at will".

The owner of a cafe in the area added their defence of the charge. They said: "Prices have increased by a lot recently. Everybody knows that water and electricity bills are rising, and employees also need to be paid for their work, such as boiling water and washing cups."

It's not the first time a tourist has complained about an unexpected charge on their bill while abroad. An angry tourist took to TripAdvisor to complain that she had to pay an extra 87p for her ice cream, after she asked for a second spoon so she could share the sweet treat with her husband at a parlour in Lavis, Northern Italy.

She posted on her complaint on TripAdvisor after realising she was charged €8 for the ice cream – that’s about £6.95. But, she was also charged an extra euro – 87p – within that price for the use of a second spoon.

Plus, another tourist was also changed for two spoons to share a dessert with her husband. The couple spotted a €1.50 (£1.30) surcharge for "due cucchiaini" or two teaspoons on their receipt.

Finally, one couple was baffled when they were charged an added fee as the cafe had sliced their sandwich in half. The receipt from June 18 shows that Bar Pace added £1.72 for slicing their sandwich – labelled as "dives da meta" which means "divided in half". The customer had also bought a "toast vegetariano e patatine" – a vegetarian toasted sandwich and crisps for £6.46.

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