DBS 5 Million Hawker Meals Review

Culture, Drinks, Experiences, Food / Friday, February 17th, 2023

Headline image photo credit: DBS website

Today is PayLah Friday. In case you are not aware, DBS has kindly offered to sponsor 5 million hawker meals over the course of 50 weeks. That’s $15 million, bless your soul DBS. The first 100,000 users every Friday (from 10 February 2023 to 19 January 2024) to pay for a hawker meal using DBS PayLah! will get a 100% instant cashback (up to $3). It’s limited to 1 redemption per user per Friday. So it does not work if you make two purchases of say $2 each. You will only get back $2.

Today is also traumatic PayLah Friday for me. Three traumatic events occurred, compelling me to publish this post as a Public Service Announcement (PSA).

Traumatic Event 1
I was about to visit my favorite mixed rice stall at Chinatown Complex hawker centre when my friend reminded me that it’s PayLah Friday. So I checked the list of establishments and saw a name that resembled my intended stall. Upon paying for my meal, they do not accept PayLah. Fine. I will try to use the promotion at another stall later, I thought. I was 80% full after my meal as some ingredients were already sold out.

Traumatic Event 2
After my mixed rice meal. I popped over to a Popiah store, and saw that we can pay by PayLah as the QR code was displayed. I deliberated for two minutes if I should order one popiah ($2) or two popiah ($4). Eventually, common sense prevailed over cheapo sense and I ordered one. When paying, I decided to input $3. The business at this stall was not bad, but I presume DBS makes more money. I thought I would be playing Robin Hood by enriching the takings of the hawker. After making payment, I did not get an instant cashback notification, which I received during the previous Friday. I checked with the hawker who said they are not on the program. I sheepishly said I paid her $3 by mistake. After showing her my payment, she refunded me $1. The Chinese has a saying, if you cannot be a hero, you will be a bear (dog bear in chinese). After consuming the Popiah, I was 125% full.

Mocha is ok, but preferr my usual Iced Vietnam Coffee
Mocha is ok, but prefer my usual Iced Vietnam Coffee

Traumatic Event 3
By this time, I was too broke to take the MRT back. I walked to Amoy hawker centre, thinking that my Vietnamese coffee stall might be on the program. I checked the list and confirmed they are on the program, yay. I ordered a $3.50 mocha instead of my usual $2.20 beverage. Since DBS is paying, might as well whack rite? And then I did not receive the instant cashback notification. I checked with the hawker but they did not really understand me. A gentleman said it’s probably fully redeemed. Oh well. There were two ladies behind me who ordered. When they were about to use PayLah, I cautioned them that it’s fully redeemed and encouraged them to use Shopback for some nominal cashback at least. They followed my advice. I sat down to enjoy my drink. Halfway through it, I noticed a notification. The cashback came in. Guilt filled my soul. The two ladies had left, and gone is my chance of redemption; I would gladly have paid them $3 each.

Cashback came in about 2 minutes later, not instant
Cashback came in about 2 minutes later, not instant

After a traumatic string of events, my takeaways are 1) always do your homework first 2) smart can already, don’t act smart and be a hero, and 3) don’t anyhow give unsolicited advice.

If you find this PSA useful, please share with your friends. Special thanks to DBS again.

p/s: DBS website states that there would be a banner at the top of your app if the promo is fully redeemed for the day.

pp/s: if the two ladies read this post, pls contact me.

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