Sim Lim Square (SLS) is such a popular place in Singapore for getting cool stuff and which many foreigners and locals will immediate think of patronizing when they need to get computer, electronics, gaming console etc. But unknowingly to them that the value for money for computer don’t mean they will get the same value for game console/accessories .
Premises to avoid when buying your next gaming console (unless you have lot of disposable cash LOL) as well as electronics. They are no reason to test your patience and sanity. For foreigner, it is better off buying from MegaStore like Court, Harvey Norman, Best because their price and service still fare better than ripped off price and hooligan-service.
Sim Lim Square
Peninsula Plaza (beside Funan IT Mall)
There are possible some areas which are just as notorious for ripping off customers.
Avoid Sim Lim Square (SLS) at all cost when it comes to buying Gaming Console
SLS is a paradise for those wanting to get the best deal for computer parts Unfortunately it has a notorious reputation for getting game console and gaming accessories.
Do avoid SLS at all cost when it comes to buying gaming console (and probably electronics as well). The probability of getting scam and ripped off is extremely high and totally unimaginable based on personal experience. It has deteriorated to the point that you can expect to be ripped off if you ever purchase a gaming console/accessories (note that their price normally are not stated) there.
If you think that you can outsmart them, think thrice, especially those run by Ah Beng’s (gangster-liked, young and dangerous) shop. If they meant to cheat you, there is nothing much you can do to avoid that. Unethical business and dishonesty are a pervasive culture for most of the game shops there that it is best not to even step into any of the game shops. Oh Yes, don’t bother to even ask the price of gaming console because those prices generally do not reflect the what you getting, and you only realize the “cheat” too late and end up paying more for what is considered a standard items. You probably wasting time asking for the cheapest price as you discovered that what you asking is unlikely what you going to pay anyway.
How do they play the customer out ?
The following are some of real common examples of how a customer may get ripped off. These are just tip of the iceberg.
- Quoting price without GST. You realize that without a price tag, they are free to quote whatever price they want. For example, if you ask one of the staff and the staff quote you a price with GST inclusive, and the next moment if you are serviced by another staff, the price quoted is yet to include the GST and worse, they pretend to keep silent on the “discrepancy” until they have written a receipt that add “extra” GST. By then, it is too late to reject it as they say it is impossible to cancel the receipt. You will soon find that you are surrounded by their “gang” when you start arguing with them.
- Removing the item. Assuming that you purchase many items from them, they will place the items into the bag before you after you pay them, and distract you with other things while in the meantime taking a item out of the bag. The moment you walk out and find out that a item is “lost”, it is too late. They insist that they already put the item right before your eyes and that you have “lost” them. Therefore, always recheck the items again before them prior to stepping out the shop. Call the police immediately if any item is lost they refuse to acknowledge that because this is thief.
- Modifying receipt. They will write a receipt before you listing all the items you purchased and purposely withhold the receipt. Those items will be displayed before you. But once you paid them, a new receipt will be issued with lesser items and higher item pricing, and once you unknowingly take the receipt without checking (since you have witnessed that they have written all the items in the receipt in the first place), they will put those items from new receipt into the bag. When you question them why they didn’t put the remaining item, they say that it is not in your received receipt. asking you if you want to pay for those remaining items.
- Purchasing in bundle. If you are buying a item that sound too good to be true, you realize that you end up paying more because they will add some items that mark-up ridiculously high without telling you that the item you purchase only offer in bundle. They will quickly hand you the receipt without explaining that the deal come in the bundle. Once the receipt written, they will display hooligan behaviour, intimidating you if you reject the "deal”.
Remember these rules !
Never buy gaming console/games in Sim Lim Square.
Remember Rule #1 because it is so important. No need to spend money to learn the lesson because many people have already done so for you.
Only buy from reputable shop who shop name is a well-known brand. As to what game shop is reputable in SLS, I don’t have the answer since generally many in internet forums speak negatively of game shop in SLS. Probably can treat Rule#3 as non-existent then.
However, if you still wanna buy gaming items in SLS, make sure that
Whatever you buy there, double check the purchased item before you step out of shop. Open up any item even if it is “cheap” accessories, battery or anything. Request to test if possible whatever you buy at the spot even if the shop is reputable or grant 1-to-1 exchange within grant period. Most importantly, check your receipt properly (eg date, serial number, item list) and make sure all items are listed. Never trust what they say (even if they say that the item is already in the bag), only trust what you see.
Only buy the item you have originally in mind. If the item is not available, walk out immediately. Do not let the staff recommend other items because they will (definitely) mark up to high price and also “force” you to buy having told you that they already prepare the receipt and make the order.
Do your homework. Don’t ever buy any expensive item on impulse else you find the most ridiculous reasons ever giving to you just to rip you. There are many affordable internet cafes around SLS that cost less than $2 for 1/2 hours, and you get use it to google the item and the name of the shop you about to buy from.
If you get ripped off, take as lesson learn. Complaining to Police and CASE is unlikely to help much because chances is that your predicament isn’t new too and that particular shop very likely to be already blacklisted. Those shop owners may even challenge you to call the police or report to CASE). CAVEAT EMPTOR. You are buying and patronizing those shop with your eyes wide open.
I do not think the following victims are exaggerating as I too have experienced those “wonderful” treatment. There are many complaints of shops like this in Singapore if you search the internet forum. Some will even challenge you to call the police knowing that they are already blacklisted by the police. The best advice is to avoid those following shops.
It is hard to close these shops despite the complaints because they will register the shop under another name and owner. That is why it is recommended that one should only buy game console from established or reputable shop. The best game console shops are those that has repeated customers and grow by word of mouth, and will strengthen their company brand through good value for money and excellent customer service.
Certainly I hope the CASE will seriously look into the following cases because such blatant scam is on the rise and definitely give Singapore a undeserved bad reputation.
So if you are not going to buy gaming console from SLS then where do you buy from ? You find out in my next post ….