The consumer watchdog has sounded warnings over a renovation firm that has unfinished works of six customers, including one who is owed $15,000 worth of work.
The Consumers Association of Singapore (Case) said customers had tried contacting Valiancy Enterprise and company director Leung Wai Yeung for weeks, to no avail.
But Mr Leung replied to an e-mail from The Straits Times yesterday and sent text messages via an Indonesian mobile phone number.
He claimed to have been in touch with the customers, and said he is trying to raise funds to pay them back by selling his property overseas.
Case said it received five complaints about the company from Feb 1 until Tuesday. Four of the complaints were reported within the past two months.
Customers said they had paid several thousand dollars to the firm, which failed to complete the renovation works by the promised date.
One customer, who wished to be known only as Ms Ho, 37, said it has been a "nightmare" dealing with the company. A promised six weeks' renovation has stretched to nine months now.
"He had put up so many excuses for the delays, such as how his mum was ill and that he was hospitalised," she said.
She had trusted Mr Leung because her brother had engaged him for renovation works, and recommended him to Ms Ho.
Ms Ho added that she has not been able to contact Mr Leung since Aug 25, and that the remaining works owed was worth more than $15,000.
But Mr Leung claimed that he contacted all six customers, including four yesterday, by sending them WhatsApp messages promising to pay them back by end-October.
He added that his company's Singapore mobile line was cut off because he was unable to pay the bills.
Valiancy Enterprise is a registered renovation contractor under the Housing Board website.
Valiancy Entreprise was suspended for a week in April last year for renovation work that caused a ceiling leak. The firm also received three demerit points.
A contractor's registration will be suspended by HDB for a year if it accumulates 24 demerit points within a two-year period.
The renovation contractor industry has been listed among the top 10 in terms of complaints received by Case for the past decade.
Case said consumers should check that the renovation contractors they engage are registered with the HDB, and have a good track record in their transactions with consumers.
Customers who have unresolved disputes with the company can call Case on 6100-0315, or lodge a claim with the Small Claims Tribunal for losses and damages suffered.