Teo Ser Luck meets with Sim Lim Square management council on errant retailers

Minister of State for Trade and Industry Teo Ser Luck met the management council of electronics mall Sim Lim Square to discuss how it can work with the authorities to deal with errant retailers. -- PHOTO: MTI
Minister of State for Trade and Industry Teo Ser Luck met the management council of electronics mall Sim Lim Square to discuss how it can work with the authorities to deal with errant retailers. -- PHOTO: MTI

SINGAPORE - Minister of State for Trade and Industry Teo Ser Luck met the management council of electronics mall Sim Lim Square to discuss how it can work with the authorities to deal with errant retailers.

The management council is made up of 13 people who own units there.

In a statement released on Monday, Mr Teo said that there needs to be a collective effort among the Government, the Consumers Association of Singapore and industry players such as the mall's management.

He added: "While the police are investigating the case, we are also looking at enhancing our laws, strengthening the enforcement process and continuing with our engagement efforts."

This meeting took place after reports over the last few weeks about errant retailers in Sim Lim Square.

In early November, a Vietnamese tourist was overcharged for an iPhone 6 at Mobile Air, at unit 01-41. He reportedly went on his knees to beg for a refund, but was laughed at and eventually returned only half the amount.

Last month, a shopkeeper from the same shop tried to give a woman more than $1,000 in coins for a refund that had been ordered by the Small Claims Tribunal.

In the same month, a 19-year-old undergraduate was overcharged for warranty fees for an iPhone 6 at Mobile 22 at unit 01-42. She managed to get some money back but had to put up with shopkeepers who shouted at her.

In September, a domestic worker was caught in a dispute over $200 she paid for a phone from Mackin at unit 02-87. She said that her phone and receipt went missing at the shop after its staff distracted her.

In the statement about Monday's discussion, Mr Teo added: "Today's session was useful as we discussed how we could work together to curb errant retailers. Both sides agree that more effective measures must be in place, as such unfair business practices cannot be allowed to continue unheeded.

"The Management Council could implement some preventive measures in the interim as well as take a strong stand against errant retailers.

"There needs to be a collective effort among the Government, Case, industry players such as the malls' management, retailers and consumers.

"We urge consumers to continue exercising caution when making purchases, and retailers to be fair and professional."

Sim Lim Square is now exploring more efforts to raise consumer awareness and notify consumers of errant shops when they step into the mall.

Mr Teo noted: "Both sides agree on the need to better protect consumers - be they locals or tourists - and the rights of the majority of law-abiding retailers, to uphold Singapore's reputation as a retail destination."