Eateries, tea shops draw flak over phone number, location ploy
Some popular eateries and milk tea shops in Shanghai have come under fire for unnecessarily forcing consumers to reveal their cellphone numbers when they make orders via an app or WeChat mini programs.
Based on an undercover investigation by the Shanghai Consumer Council involving 29 milk tea shops and chain restaurants, eight milk tea brands like CoCo, Sweet7 and Chabaidao, and restaurants such as Shen Da Cheng, a time-honored brand, and South Memory serving Hunan-style cuisine, were found requiring mobile phone numbers of diners after they scanned the code to order drinks or food.
If diners refuse to provide their cellphone numbers to CoCo and Shen Da Cheng, they could not even place orders, the council revealed on Wednesday.
Most of these eateries and shops require the location info of consumers, with alittle-tea, a popular milk tea chain brand, particularly problematic for making it compulsory.
American fast food giant Burger King was found bombing diners with pop-up windows if they refuse to reveal their location, causing disturbance to consumers although they can still make orders by selecting the dining outlet via the WeChat mini program, according to the council.
A survey by the council found that 65 percent of consumers are not willing to provide their cellphone number when making orders, while 56 percent have concerns over divulging location info.
Such practices excessively collect consumers' personal information, the council admonished.