This is one thing in Singapore that most Singaporeans aren’t proud of. A shop at Lucky Plaza charged a Bangladeshi businessman S$10,103 for 2 iPhone 5 32GB with extended warranty. Check out the full story here.
The police was called in but they couldn’t do anything because this is a willing-seller, willing-buyer case. The Bangladeshi businessman eventually paid S$4,280 for 2 iPhone 5 (S$2140 each) after mark down.
A iPhone 5 32GB cost S$1088 without contract on Apple Online Store. AppleCare Protection Plan for iPhone 5 cost S$99. Which means the Bangladeshi businessman would just need to pay S$1187 instead of S$2140 for each iPhone 5.
That’s S$953 more than the normal market rate.
Unfortunately, according to the Consumer Protection (Fair Trading) Act, it is not illegal to charge a price for goods or services that is substantially higher than an estimate provided to the consumer if the consumer has expressly agreed to the higher price in advance. Since the Bangladeshi businessman signed on the receipt, it means he agreed to the terms. But according to lawyers interviewed by the media, this might possibly amount to fraud or deception. Let’s hope someone bring these black sheep to justice.
There are a lot of ways to prevent such things from happening. Do some research before you go shopping. A quick search on Lucky Plaza will tell you which shop to avoid. And if you ask the locals, they will most likely tell you to avoid Sim Lim Square and Lucky Plaza completely. Funan DigitaLife Mall is a safer place to shop for electronic goods. If you are buying Apple products, go to Apple Premium Reseller like EpiCentre or Nubox.
Read before you sign on anything. The biggest mistake that the Bangladeshi businessman made was to sign the receipt without reading.
Lastly, if the deal is too good to be true, then it is most likely not true.
PS: I think CASE should consider setting up a complaint kiosk at Lucky Plaza just like the one at Sim Lim Square.