Yet another customer has beef with Taipei Shilin Night Market for price gouging

Taipei Shilin Night Market customer shocked at NT$600 price tab for only two bowls of grilled beef cubes

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(Photo from Facebook group Baoyuan Commune)

(Photo from Facebook group Baoyuan Commune)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Yet another customer has come forward to complain about being ripped off at Taipei's Shilin Night Market.

On Thursday (Oct. 17), a Taiwanese woman surnamed Huang (黃) took to the Facebook page Baoyuan Commune to say that she and her boyfriend, surnamed Lee (李), had gone that day to Shilin Night Market, where she ordered two bowls of grilled beef cubes. She said that she had bought beef cubes at other night markets before, including at the same chain, and did not think to ask for the price.

When the beef chunks were ready, Huang was astonished that the vendor wanted NT$300 (NT$9.80) for each bowl, a total of NT$600. She said she was furious because the same dish at other night markets sold for NT$100 for a small bowl and NT$200 for a large bowl.


Officers inspecting grilled beef stall in Shilin Night Market. (Photo from Taipei City Government)

Huang said that since the vendor had not placed a price on the stall and the meat had already been cooked, she went ahead and paid. However, she said she was very unhappy because she felt she had been tricked and treated like a fool who did not know the market price.

Huang said that she suspected the stall had hiked the prices and hid them to fool gullible tourists. When news of the incident broke that night, the stall's owner, surnamed Liao (廖), claimed that it was a case of miscommunication and that there were actually three bowl sizes, small, medium, and large, for NT$100, NT$200, and NT$300, respectively.

Liao claimed that the prices were listed on sample containers and that the woman was charged NT$300 per bowl because she had ordered the large size. In response, the woman updated her Facebook post to say that the stand owner had simultaneously taken her order and those of customers who had come before her and never mentioned any size differences.


Officers inspecting grilled beef stall in Shilin Night Market. (Photo from Taipei City Government)

Huang wrote that the other customers also had surprised looks on their faces when they learned of the high price. She also questioned whether the vendor really offered different sizes, as the amount of meat in her bowl was very different from what her boyfriend received.

After the news broke, officers from the Taipei City Market Administrative Office and Taipei Police Department were dispatched to the scene to inspect the stalls, reported UDN. Four of the vendors were fined NT$1,200 for breaching the Road Traffic Management and Penalty Act (道路交通管理處罰條例) by occupying public property.

A number of other vendors were found to have not clearly marked their prices and were given four days to add appropriate signage to their stalls. If they fail to make their prices more visible within four days, the vendors could face fines of between NT$20,000 to NT$100,000, reported China Times.


Grilled beef cube bowls. (Photo from Facebook group Baoyuan Commune)

The latest incident comes hot off the heels of a report earlier this week that an employee at a "scooping fish" game stall at the night market had brandished a knife at an Australian family when questioned about the price of the game's flimsy fishing nets. In January, news broke that a foreign tourist had been grossly overcharged for a small bag of diced fruit at the market.