Nanmen Market, Taoyuan, Taiwan. Photo: Google Maps

A 57-year-old street vendor in Taoyuan, Taiwan, was fined NT$5,000 (US$167) by Taoyuan District Court after allegedly insulting a 51-year-old female customer who ate more than a dozen glutinous rice cake samples but left without buying any.

The defendant, surnamed Chang, previously sold his rice cakes in New Taipei City, but moved his business to Nanmen Market, in Taoyuan, in November last year, according to Metro Daily.

In order to attract customers, he offered free samples of three flavors at his stall. A housewife, surnamed Yu, was thus attracted to the stall, but after helping herself to numerous samples, she left without buying anything.

The vendor was incensed and, raising his voice, he lambasted her for eating a free lunch.

Yu, in turn, was infuriated by Chang’s comments and took the matter to to court. She accused the vendor of insulting her in public and sought compensation of NT$30,000 (US$1,000).

The defendant pleaded not guilty to the charge, and added that the woman had orchestrated the whole thing on purpose.

The judge found him guilty, however, on the grounds that he had voluntarily offered food samples and failed to restrain his anger when he came across a customer who took advantage of the offer to excess.

In light of the fact that he had no prior record, Chang was fined NT$5,000, or given the option of five days’ community service, for insulting Yu in public.

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