SINGAPORE - A Vietnamese tourist was left in tears after a nightmarish ordeal buying an iPhone 6 for his girlfriend at Mobile Air, a shop in Sim Lim Square.
Mobile Air made headlines recently for refunding a woman $1,010 in coins, including one-cents and five-cents coins.
According to a report in Lianhe Zaobao, the Vietnamese tourist was on holiday with his girlfriend in Singapore and, after some research, he found out that there was ready stock of the phone in Sim Lim Square.
The man is reportedly a factory worker with a monthly income of $200 and took months to save up for the phone, which he hopes to give to his girlfriend as a birthday present.
The report stated that he was quoted $950 for the phone at Mobile Air and that he excitedly made payment in cash.
Thinking that it was safe to shop in Singapore, he did not scrutinise the documents closely. He was also not fluent in English.
When he wanted to leave the shop with the phone, staff members from Mobile Air asked if he wanted a warranty package for one or two years. He decided to take the one-year package, thinking that it was complimentary.
To his surprise, he was asked to fork out another $1,500 for the warranty package.
He was told that if he did not pay up, he would not be allowed to leave with the phone.
Not knowing what to do, he knelt down and tearfully begged for a refund.
He said staff members at Mobile Air laughed at him, and that no passers-by were willing to help him.
Mobile Air subsequently agreed to refund him $600, but his girlfriend refused to leave the shop $350 poorer. Staff members at the shop also told her that they will retract their offer of refunding $600 if she called the police.
The girlfriend decided to call the police in the end.
When the police arrived, Mobile Air showed them the signed invoice and offered to refund the couple $70.
Officers from the Consumers Association of Singapore (Case) were called in subsequently and the couple got back a refund of $400.
The tourist said he accepted the $400 refund because he had to return to Vietnam in two days and he was not sure if Case could help him get back a full refund.
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