Singapore’s Top 10 Worst Consumer Behaviors (Part1)

Working as a cashier in a huge supermarket for the past two months has opened my eyes to the various silly antics of Singapore customers. Most of the behavior mentioned here may seem shameless and risible but they explicitly mirror the greedy, arrogant and thoughtless characteristics that some local customers possess.

Continue reading for an exclusive insight to the 10 Worst Consumer Behaviors In Singapore!

Written By our Guest Blogger azhar, please visit the blog as well

The list includes foolish manners by consumers which you may not have known before.

The tabulation below compiles the behavior of middle-aged to old Singapore customers only. It covers both the antics portrayed by Singaporean citizens as well as the foreign expatriates living and working in the island too. In this blog post, I intend to highlight the dirty habits of local consumers in the hope that the rest of the society will not follow them.
(in random order)

1) Huh? Err? Hmm? *gone*

I do not have a problem with the influx of foreign talents into Singapore, but I definitely have a problem with foreign workers who expect us to communicate in a language that they use widely in their homeland. I have encountered many situations whereby customers showed poor attitude and rushed off when I could not understand the language they are using. (My Comment On The Official Singaporean Etiquette)

One of the similar experiences that is still vivid in my mind is when a young Chinese-speaking female customer (most probably from China) snatched her goods away from me and stormed off the store grumpily after failing to converse with me properly. It is as if I was expected to know and learn the language that she uses in her homeland. Can’t she just be patient and wait while I get a colleague to translate what she was trying to say? What a bummer….

2) The Newspaper Browser

There is a rule stated clearly above the magazine and newspaper shelf that customers are not allowed to browse through the reading materials available. Well, apparently some customers have found a way to circumvent the rule. This is what they do:

First, they choose the newspaper that they wish to read. Next, they join a long queue and start browsing through the articles in the newspaper. They probably use the first few minutes to finish reading on the cover story. Finally, once they reach the counter, they look at the cashier and say, “Oh, I don’t want the newspaper.”

Amazing isn’t it? (lots of sarcasm here)

3) Greedy Liars

The retail company that I am working for upholds the policy that if buyers are unhappy with the goods that they bought from its stores, a full refund will be given to them. As expected, a few greedy customers are trying to exploit the policy by attempting to lie all the way till they get their moolah back. Let me share with you two stories as told by one of my female colleagues who works under the Delicatessen section:

A few weeks ago, a customer came into the outlet, strolled to the Delicatessen section and before you knew it, began throwing insulting remarks at her. The customer bought cooked chicken prepared by her two days ago. Now, he was claiming that the chicken was uncooked. When asked to hand over the chicken for investigation, the customer refused to cooperate and instead gave a loud rude reply, “I gave the uncooked chicken to my dog!” She could not give the refund as there was no proof that the chicken was not well-cooked. The customer could be cooking up a story to earn the cash he did not deserve to get. In the end, the customer went straight to one of my duty managers who decided to give a full refund after checking the receipt. Till now, my colleague believes that decision was a poor one.

Nonetheless, the customer in the story below was not as lucky as the one above.

The customer in this story used the very same tactic as the one above, except for one key difference – the anomaly on the receipt. He was aggressive and hurled insults at my colleague. He then tried to fool my Store Manager while appealing for the refund. The outlet I am working for is located in Sengkang. However, the receipt showed that the chicken was brought from an outlet in Hougang! It was a completely failed attempt to get a cash refund and the abashed customer went home empty-handed, leaving behind his ego.

4) The Money Changers

This particular behavior is actually quite funny when I look at it in retrospect but nevertheless, it sure annoys the other customers in the queue. I, for one, have a personal experience with people who love to change their big notes. I love to call them the ‘money changers’ and I enjoy sharing their antics with my friends, such as this one:

A female customer handed over the good she wanted to buy to me so that I could scan it. My screen revealed that it was a small sanitary pad which costs around $4 (can’t remember the exact amount). She whips out her wallet, took out a note and passed it over to me. Guess what? It was a $1000 note!

I had no choice but to rush to the Cashiers’ Room and change the $1000 note into smaller denominations. This usually takes quite some time, especially when the Chief Cashier is out at the washroom! OHGAWD! Next time if you want to change big notes into smaller ones, please do so in a place called a BANK!

5) Anti- Bring Your Own Bag Day

If you think that all Singapore consumers are in favour of the weekly ‘Bring Your Own Bag Day’ campaign, then you are wrong. There were buyers who questioned me where the money collected by the weekly donations are heading to. When I gave the reply that the donations will be channeled to the Singapore Environment Council, they were unimpressed. One of them even said, “Money go straight to gahmen! What’s the point?!”

Other more experienced colleagues also shared their pitiful experiences with me. Most of them agree that the campaign is still relatively unpopular and unknown among local consumers. My colleagues added that at times, they were scolded after informing their customers that they were supposed to bring their own bags. Somehow, the buyers felt that the campaign was just causing too much trouble for them.

It takes time for local consumers to get used to the weekly campaign I guess…

Continue Reading Part 2

Here the next part of “Singapore’s Top 10 Worst Consumer Behaviors“, enjoy reading!




thanks for notification, all links are fixed now, enjoy reading!


How about Worst Supermarket Staff Behavior? Can easily think of a few immediately.
1. Reserving the freshest produce for themselves and friends.
2. Stealing from packed fruits, especially imported strawberries and grapes.
3. Cashiers who deliberately slow down so that they can process less customers.
4. Would let food expire and go to waste rather than sell them cheaply near expiring date.
5. Push trolleys as if nobody was around.
6. Preferential treatment for certain races.
7. Cashiers are often moody and rude.
8. Pack products on shelf such that they are a safety hazard.


Haha, thanks KM for the list, i feel like having to add even some more!

Will think about an according post later!

Angry Black

How about the behaviour in Public Transport? They are at their worst! Just not moving to centre! Showing angry faces when requested for space! Some even scold in their language and make obscene gestures even in the presence of ladies! The worst are seated passengers pretending sleep when old people and pregnent ladies come near them!

Seelan Palay

“The worst are seated passengers pretending sleep when old people and pregnent ladies come near them!”

The sad state of Singaporeans.

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