$12,000 for two iPhone 5s is insane, says lawyer

$12,000 for two iPhone 5s is insane, says lawyer

SINGAPORE - Overcharging in shops may be common, but the amount that the consumer paid in this case is excessive and way above the market value of the product, said Consumers Association of Singapore (Case) executive director Seah Seng Choon.

Tourists who find themselves in similar situations can either visit the Case office or do an online case submission via the Singapore Tourism Board website.

A Case officer will then assess the consumer's dispute and give advice on the recourse options, before following up on the matter on behalf of the consumer.

If the dispute cannot be resolved through correspondence with the business owner, the Case officer would then arrange for a mediation session for both parties.

Lawyer Foo Cheow Ming said that this could possibly amount to fraud or deception.

While overcharging is not illegal, Mr Shaikh Bashir Ahmed's case is different.

"It's like selling a Toyota Camry, which has a market value of $125,000, for $1.5 million," said Mr Foo. "It's insane."

It is also an offence to stop someone from leaving the shop.

"By stopping somebody from leaving the shop, the consumer can sue for damages for wrongful restraint," said Mr Foo.

Case disclosed that complaints involving Lucky Plaza has gone up to 52 from 40 last year.

Electronics mall Sim Lim Square, which has been in the the news for errant retailers, had a complaint kiosk set up in June in collaboration with Case.

Consumers there can lodge a direct complaint to Case through the computers at the booth.

Mr Seah said Case is open to setting one up in Lucky Plaza too.

"But expanding the collaboration of the complaint kiosks to other shopping centres will be subjected to all working partners agreeing to the operating procedures and terms of contract," he said.

This article was first published on Nov 26, 2012.
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