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5 Sim Lim Square Horror Stories

Sim Lim Square is perhaps the most well-known shopping mall in Singapore when it comes to electronic gadgets. Offering a wide variety of products and specialized services, the name and thought of Sim Lim Square comes to mind. It is perhaps one of the more iconic shopping mall in Singapore with a specialty. Of course, this does not come without any costs. Sim Lim Square has a bad reputation and it is still going strong. We have compiled some enduring horror stories from Sim Lim Square from various websites (names used are pseudonyms).

1) No backing out

The salesman talked nicely to John to convince you to buy from their shop with free gifts like casing & screen protector. After paying for the phone price he said he will help John to register & unlock but there will be a charge by the network because of unlocking. John askedthe salesman if the network in his country will charge him later & he said yes so John agreed. He was asked to fill up a small white form from the shop asking him which services he would like to activate. The salesman then went out somewhere to activate then came back showing John the extra charge he needs to pay- SGD 819.80 for both the mobiles. I asked him again about the network charge but disagree about what I asked before & kept on saying this is normal for any phone. John complained a lot and did not accept, but the salesman said that it was his fault for not thinking before signing!

2) Outright overcharging

Daniel bought two mobile phones from this vendor for S$899/- on 17.05.2014. He paid phones by credit card. Salesman promised Daniel that a 3-year warranty period for the phones were already included. Daniel am from Sri Lanka and when he returned home , he realized he was charged additional S$2152.80 for a Samsung Galaxy Grand 2 3G and a Sony Xperia Z1 they have charged S$3051.80(899+2152.80). He phoned the shop, and was told the extra charge was for monthly installments of S$ 30x 2 for 3 years per phone [(30x12x3)x2]. And said that it was an in-house e-warranty given by the shop. Daniel never agreed to such a costly warranty at any point of their discussion.

3) Money for beer

Tom was parking his car near Sim Lim and decided to walk during lunch time. As he was getting out of his car, this van with 2 guys stopped by. One of the guys got out and asked him if he wanted a high-end Hi-Fi (5.1) system for free. Being curious and greedy, Tom decided to hear him out. He explained that he just went to his supplier to collect 5 sets of Hi-Fi (boxes were all in the van, really big boxes) but the supplier made a mistake and gave him 8 sets instead. He have 3 extra sets and say he rather give away to people on the street than to his boss. He pulled up a catalog and invoice to show Tom the specifications of the Hi-Fi, telling him that the set would cost SGD4000 but he just wanted SGD400 to buy beer. As Tom was contemplating, the other guy wasoff loading the set and was trying to load into his car, opening his door. Fortunately it was locked. After verifying with a tech-geek friend, Tom told them that he was not interested. The 2 guys were cursing as they drive off.

4) Foreigner knelt down for refund

A Vietnamese tourist was left in tears after a nighmarish ordeal when buying an iPhone 6 for his girlfriend at Mobile Air, a shop in Sim Lim Square. According to a report in Lianhe Zaobao, the Vietnamese tourist was on holiday with his girlfriend in Singapore and after some research, he found out there was ready stock for the phone in Sim Lim Square. He is reportedly a factory worker with a monthly income of $200 and took months to save up for the phone as his girlfriend’s birthday present. The report states he was quoted $950 for the phone at Mobile Air and he excitedly made payment in cash. When he wanted to leave the shop with the phone, staff members from Mobile Air then asked if he wanted a warranty package of one or two years. He decided to take the one-year package, thinking it was complimentary. To his surprise, he was asked to fork out another $1,500 for the one-year warranty package. He was told that he did not pay up, he could not leave with the phone. Not knowing what to do, he knelt down and tearfully begged for a refund.

5) 18 kg of coins as refund

One woman, Chinese national Miss Zhou, told reporters that she was in Singapore for a holiday. On Sep 24, she purchased an iPhone 6 Plus from Mobile Air together with her aunt who is a resident in Singapore. They asked for a price of $1,800. Once she signed the bill, they immediately asked for an additional $2,400 and said it was for two years of insurance. After a brief dispute and much haggling, they came to a compromise and the $3,000 transaction was made. The following day, Miss Zhou made a complaint at the Consumers Association Of Singapore (CASE). On Sep 27, the Small Claims Tribunal ruled that Mobile Air had to refund Miss Zhou $1,000 as compensation, in addition to administrative fees of $10 collected by the Court. There have been seven attempts since September in getting the refund, but the shop’s owner only gave Miss Zhou $1,010 back on Oct 28. There, they were presented with a huge bag of coins — including one-cents and five-cents.

Sim Lim Square is part of the Singapore Tourism “attraction” for the variety in terms of electronic gadgets and services. In defence, there are also stories on the internet of some praises by tourists, talking about the charms of the mall. The 2 recent cases involving foreigners on Sim Lim Square is going to hurt its reputation as well as the nation’s. With so many angry Singaporeans speaking up for the victims and going as far as to boycott the mall, looks like Sim Lim is going to have a tough time clearing its bad name.

Writer: Leong Chee Sheng Stories: Hardwarezone, TripAdvisor, Stomp

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