A CASE of taking a tougher stand on unfair business practices

Contributed by RAYMOND ANTHONY FERNANDO – 

A Lack of Business Ethics?

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Are you running your business ethically?

It is absolutely outrageous that the mobile phone retailer Mobile Air had stooped so slow as to humiliate Vietnamese tourist PhamVan Thoai into going on his  bended knees and crying after being told  to pay an additional $1,500 for the warranty of the iPhone that he purchased at $950 in the report “Sim Lim’s nightmare” (The New Paper, Nov 5).  

Earlier the infamous shop errant owner Jover Chew had, out of spite; refunded a Chinese national, Ms Zhou $1,010 in coins after the lady took her case to the Small Claims Tribunal.

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I find it most disturbing that consumers – both from Singapore and overseas have to put up with such horrendous customer service at a time when the Government is investing heavily in training for the service industry; and in spending millions of dollars to attract tourists to visit and shop here in Singapore.  

Even though CASE has recognised that such unfair business practices exist, it should be able to have more bite and take a tougher stand with such retailers by working closely with the Ministry of Trade and Industry (MTI) and the Law Ministry to stamp out such behaviour.  In fact, I am deeply disappointed that ministries like the MTI and the Law Ministry have not stepped forward to put such retailers in check.  We should never allow such negative traits to ruin Singapore’s reputation or our economy will take a beating.  

 

The Good in All The Horror

However, I applaud the efforts of Mr Gabriel Kang who went out of his way to raise money online and bought an Iphone and offered it to Mr Thoai.  

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Although consumers can take up civil suits against such recalcitrant retailers who are tarnishing the image of Singapore, the victims should not be put to too much inconvenience when they have already gone through so much difficulties and distress.  

The errant behaviour of Jover Chew who refunded the Chinese national in $1,010 in coins is causing a ripple effect on others; and this was apparent when I read the report of how a businessman after losing a supercar sale dispute decided to pay a car dealer $19,000 in coins in the report “Here’s your $19,000…in coins” (The New Paper, Nov 6).

We have school bullies, cyberspace bullies, road bullies and now retail bullies, so what will emerge next?

 By Raymond Anthony Fernando

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