Sim Lim Square management seeks help to clear bad name caused by errant retailers

The management committee of Sim Lim Square on Monday appealed for help to tackle the problem of errant retailers at the mall, in a desperate move to salvage its reputation. -- PHOTO: ST FILE
The management committee of Sim Lim Square on Monday appealed for help to tackle the problem of errant retailers at the mall, in a desperate move to salvage its reputation. -- PHOTO: ST FILE

SINGAPORE - The management committee of Sim Lim Square on Monday appealed for help to tackle the problem of errant retailers at the mall, in a desperate move to salvage its reputation.

The management's plea for help comes amid many years of efforts to eradicate errant retailers, or the "black sheep", at its mall, including seeking help from the police, the Consumer Association of Singapore (Case) and the Singapore Tourism Board (STB), the management said in a statement on Monday.

The management's plea for help comes hot on the heels of a recent case where a shop charged a woman a total of $3,000 for an iPhone "bundle". When ordered by the Small Claims Tribunal Court to refund the customer $1,010, the shop handed her the money in coins.

The shop is being investigated by Case, to see if it has violated the Consumer Protection (Fair Trading) Act, according to an earlier report in Lianhe Zaobao.

In the statement on Monday, the management said that although law enforcement officers can be seen at Sim Lim Square "almost every day", the effects seem to be limited.

The errant retailers seem "completely undeterred" as the authorities "appear to lack "teeth" to take them to task, the management said.

"Frequently, it would be the retailer who calls the police and accuses the aggrieved customer of causing a scene at the shop," it added.

"We plead with the authorities to look into this issue seriously and urgently, and to take a tough stand against the recalcitrant retailers," the management said, pledging cooperation in these efforts.

It said that the majority of the shops at Sim Lim Square are running an honest business, and that the mall's reputation is being tarnished by a few recalcitrant retailers.

In an effort to identify these honest businesses, the management had created the STARetailer initiative, whereby retailers who offer honest and satisfactory services are identified by a STARetailer sticker and poster at the shop.