Police raid Singapore mall
Authorities are clamping down on shonky retailers in Singapore’s infamous Sim Lim Square shopping centre.
The move follows widespread international publicity about a Vietnamese who broke down in tears at a store in November after being told he had to pay about S$1000 for a ‘warranty’ before he could take away the iPhone 6 he had bought for his girlfriend.
The Consumers Association of Singapore has created a blacklist, naming and shaming shonky retailers in Sim Lim mall on its website. Two of those retailers – Gadget Terminal and Mobile Apps (trading as De.Mac Gadget) – were this week raided by police who took away boxes of files and documents.
Others named on the Case Blacklist this week are Mobile 22, Mackin, Megacentrix Technologies, K-One Mobile and SLR Pro.
Sin Lim mall management say they are powerless to act against retailers who rip off consumers until law changes allow them to evict errant tenants. That is because the retail spaces are individually owned under strata titles and leases are struck between landlords and tenants, not with mall management.
The mall says it has 480 tenants, the majority of whom are genuine businesses. But the actions of a few are damaging the reputation of the entire mall which for years has been a destination for consumers seeking deals on electronic goods.
The store at the centre of November’s Vietnamese customer scandal, Mobile Air, has been closed down, its owner’s whereabouts now unknown.