Be careful when shopping at Sim Lim Square

Sim Lim Square has been on the news for the wrong reason lately. I always say that the Chinese name for Sim Lim Square is 森林商业中心. 森林 means forest. So you need to be careful when you are in 森林 (forest) and not end up as a prey.
Let me be clear about something. Not all shops in Sim Lim Square are bad. I would say less than 20% of them are unethical. The rest of the shops in Sim Lim Square are fine. But unfortunately all it takes is a few black sheep to damage the reputation of the entire 6 level building.
I’m no expert when it comes to shopping at Sim Lim Square. But here are some advice that I give my friends when they are going to Sim Lim Square.
Do your homework before visiting Sim Lim Square
1 ) Research on the item that you want to buy. Try to find out the market rate so that you won’t be overcharged.
2 ) Take note of all the accessories included in the standard package. Some unethical shops might remove an accessory from the standard package and sell it to you at a higher cost.
3 ) Visit CASE website and check out the Consumer Alert. There is a top 10 list of shops in Sim Lim Square that received the most consumer complaints. Avoid those shops at all cost.
Consumer_Alert
4 ) Try not to go Sim Lim Square alone especially if you are not tech savvy. Always go with a friend who is tech savvy.
Be extra careful when shopping at level 1 to 3
5 ) Most of the unethical shops are located between level 1 to 3. Be extra careful when you are shopping at these levels.
6 ) Look out for Sim Lim Square STARetailers sign at the shop. STARetailers are shops that are complaint-free for the past 9 months.
STARetailers
7 ) Sometimes the shop might not have the item you want and the salesperson might recommend another brand/model which they claim is just as good. Take his recommendations with a pinch of salt. If you are not tech savvy, ask your friend. Or use your smartphone and go online to find out more about that brand/model. (There’s free WIFI at Sim Lim Square) Or simply go to another shop that have the item you want.
Read all the fine prints before signing anything
8 ) Firstly, you shouldn’t be required to sign on anything (other than your Credit Card Receipt) when making a purchase. So if the salesperson ask you to sign on an invoice or document, be extra careful.
8.1) If you are signing on an invoice, make sure the salesperson finish writing the invoice before signing. The total amount should be the amount that you agreed to pay. All empty spaces in the invoice should be crossed out so that they can’t add more items after you sign on the invoice.
8.2) If you are signing a document, read all the fine prints. (Ask your friend to help read too) One common scam is to include additional in house warranty in the fine print. The unethical shop will ask you to pay for your item and get you to sign on a document. Once you finish signing, they will ask you to pay for the additional in house warranty (which usually cost more than the item you bought). They will not allow you to collect your item until you pay for the in house warranty. If you refuse to pay, they will keep the initial amount that you paid them and won’t give you your item.
PS: Personally, I will walk away if the shop require me to sign anything. There is really no need for you to sign any document or invoice when making purchase.
9 ) You are not required to show your Passport or any form of identification when making a purchase. If the salesman insist you produce your Passport, simply leave and visit another shop.
10 ) There is a CASE complaint kiosk next to the information counter at level one. If you have been scammed, you can use that to file your complaint to CASE. Personally I hope you won’t have to do that.
So remember, be careful when shopping at Sim Lim Square. There are black sheep in the building but you can also find good bargain too.
Disclaimer: These are based on my personal experience on how to avoid being scammed. It is not 100% foolproof but at least it can reduce the chances. Feel free to add more tips in the comment section.

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