33 complaints against renovation firm

The Telok Kurau premises of Carpentry Design Works were closed when The Straits Times visited last Friday. Customers said the firm left work unfinished or did not deliver services after being paid.
The Telok Kurau premises of Carpentry Design Works were closed when The Straits Times visited last Friday. Customers said the firm left work unfinished or did not deliver services after being paid. ST PHOTO: ANNABETH LEOW

Customers say work unfinished or not done, seek Case's help to recover more than $560k

Clients of Carpentry Design Works, a home renovation firm which was registered just over a year ago, have approached the Consumers Association of Singapore with more than $560,000 in claims.

They claim the firm, registered in March last year, left work unfinished or did not deliver services after being paid.

Case received 33 complaints, with 21 of those filed this month alone.

One customer, who declined to be named, approached Case for help after no work was done for weeks on his four-room flat. The 33-year-old civil servant said he paid $7,000to a representative of the renovation company.

The representative supposedly insisted work would soon begin, pending approval from the Housing Board, but after repeated delays, the client approached HDB directly.

"They told me the company hadn't even submitted an application," he said. "I realised they had been lying to me all this while."

Another client said he engaged the same representative in early February and forked out $18,880 to fit his new four-room flat with cabinets, plumbing, wiring, tiles and air-conditioning.

But the accounts executive, 29, who did not want to be named, said he waited weeks for work to begin, adding: "They had 1,001 reasons, like 'The lorry broke down' or 'The workers have been hospitalised'."

He is now waiting for the contract to expire so he can find another contractor to finish work on his home.

A visit to the company's registered premises in Telok Kurau, which bore no signboard, found the unit in disarray, with a Small Claims Tribunal summons dated April 20 under the door.

Meanwhile, the Yishun office where customers said they met the representative bears a different name. Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority (Acra) records also show no officers in common between the two firms.

Efforts to call Carpentry Design Works have been unsuccessful. Case has also said that the contractor did not reply to its request to meet.

Carpentry Design Works' Acra profile lists its director as Mr Muhammad Nirzam Azmi, appointed on April 10 this year. When The Straits Times visited his home, Mr Nirzam, 32, said this was done without his consent and claimed he had made a police report.

According to an earlier Acra listing, the original director of Carpentry Design Works is Ms Christina Wong, 22, who told The Straits Times that a woman named Husniyati promised to pay her $3,000 a month in exchange for using her identity. She said she made a police report after being approached by debt collectors, and claimed her signature was forged in dealings with suppliers.

Police confirmed reports were made and investigations are ongoing.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on April 27, 2017, with the headline '33 complaints against renovation firm'. Print Edition | Subscribe