Plight of True Spa victims
Tue, Dec 21, 2010

I was watching Crimewatch where it described a case of cheating by a man who posed as an off-duty ICA or Customs officer. He convinced his victims that government officers can sell confiscated items at very low prices and the money would be donated to charities. The victims were asked to pay at the airport; believing that he was a government officer, many quickly obliged. Upon having the cash on hand, the man would ask victims to wait while he returned to his office to bring them their merchandise. They waited; he never returned to them. Eventually, this man was caught and convicted to 5 years of imprisonment for 12 counts of cheating.

I bought a True Spa package, persuaded and convinced by the True Spa sales representative that the CEO, being the son of an ex-Chief Justice, would be an honourable businessman and would fulfil the service contract accordingly. A contract was signed; payment was made. Then, the nightmare begins. Reservations were not easy to make. Many customers had the experience of being on the waiting list. Many waited, and waited. Until customers were suddenly transferred to another operator without the paying customers' consent; customers are now stranded like the victims in the cheating case - paid the hard-earned money and waited in vain, despite having legal binding contracts signed.

Even though the Order of Tribunal has been issued for True Spa to pay me by a date that has long passed, nothing has come my way. It is known to many True Spa victims that True Spa has not abided to these orders yet. The helplessness is further heightened when victims realize there are almost no concrete implications, such as frozen accounts or suspension of operations for True Spa if she were to choose to ignore these court orders altogether. There are also no updates from relevant authorities after petitions are sent to government agencies and police reports made.

Unlike the above-mentioned case, where the police stepped in to uphold justice for the cheated victims when no legal-binding contracts have been signed or court orders being issued, True Spa victims are unable to seek justice against True Spa despite having legal documents in place. Enforcement of the Order has to be taken up by claimants with more time and money while the final alternative is via the High Court. Why is it the onus on consumers to curb unethical business behaviour?

The man in the cheating case was convicted for 5 years of imprisonment for 12 counts of cheating. There are more than 10000 True Spa victims; if a similar form of justice had been exerted, what would that make of the True Spa management who does not render complete services after receiving full payment? Does any similar form of justice even exist for us, so that the nightmare may end?

Cassandra Poon
AsiaOne reader





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