According to Lianhe Zaobao, a Vietnamese tourist had wanted to purchase an iPhone 6 as a birthday present for his girlfriend. He proceeded to Sim Lim Square to make the purchase.
The tourist, Mr. Bành, a factory worker making $200 a month, saved for several months before buying the phone. He went to MobileAir, the same shop that made headline news when they made a $1000 refund to a woman in coins.
Newspapers have reported the owner of MobileAir as “not having a good reason” to make the said refund in coins.
Mr. Bành was quoted $950 for the phone and, thinking Singapore was a safe place to shop, signed an invoice without reading the clauses.
As he was about to leave with his new phone, staff of MobileAir stopped him and asked if he wanted a warranty package of “one year, or two years”. Assuming it to be a complimentary warranty, he agreed to a one year package.
He was then asked to pay another $1500 for the warranty or else he would not be able to get the phone. He asked for a refund but staff of MobileAir denied him the money.
Mr. Bành got tearful and begged on his knees with his hands clasped. Staff of MobileAir were reported to be laughing at him and members of public did not help.
MobileAir said they would refund him $600, however Bành girlfriend refused to walk off without justice.
According to a post by Sacramento based injury lawyers, MobileAir then refused to provide full refund if they got the police involved. They nevertheless called on law enforcers. When the police arrived, MobileAir showed the invoice and offered to refund $70. CASE officers were then called in and the couple received $400.
The tourist accepted the refund because he had to return to Vietnam in two days and was not familiar with the procedures of CASE.
MobileAir is located at #01-41 and is the target of 11 complaints on overcharging for mobile phone purchases.
Yesterday the High Court of Singapore has granted a permanent injunction against another Sim Lim retailer Cyber Maestro Pte Ltd, prohibiting its employees and agents from engaging in several unfair practices under the Consumer Protection (Fair Trading) Act.
CASE urges consumers to report errant retailers “who besmirch the reputation of Singapore as a premier tourist destination”.
(An online meme of a MobileAir staff)
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