Consumer watchdog Case to start injunction proceedings against Sim Lim's Mobile Air

SINGAPORE - The Consumers Association of Singapore (Case) will be starting injunction proceedings against errant Sim Lim Square retailer Mobile Air, it said in a media statement on Wednesday.

Mobile Air - and its owner Jover Chew - has been in the news for its questionable sales tactics.

The firm landed in the spotlight after it reportedly used questionable sales tactics on a Vietnamese tourist, Mr Pham Van Thoai, who said he paid $950 for an iPhone 6 but was asked to pay another $1,500 for a warranty before the shop would hand over the phone.

Images of the factory worker kneeling down to beg for a refund made it to the media and went around online, leading netizens from the satirical Facebook group, SMRT Ltd (Feedback), to splash Mobile Air owner Jover Chew's personal details online.

Police confirmed they had received several reports against Mobile Air, as well as a related report of intentional harassment, and were investigating.

A check by The Straits Times on Wednesday night found the Facebook page of SMRT Ltd (Feedback) had been removed, though its Twitter account was still online.

Case said it is taking action because Mobile Air declined to sign a voluntary compliance agreement and pledge to stop unfair practices.

Case added that it needs to seek approval from relevant committees as well as the Injunction Proposals Review Panel at the Ministry of Trade and Industry and then apply to the Court for the injunction.

The process might take several months, Case said.

The consumer watchdog also stressed that it will "crack down strongly" against errant traders who refuse to stop their unfair practices despite repeated warnings.

In July, the Singapore Tourism Board (STB) filed an injunction application in court against electronics wholesale company Cyber Maestro in Sim Lim Square, after many complaints against it for practices such as over-charging.

While the store can continue operations, should the company continue to engage in unfair practices, the STB can report it for "contempt of court".

This article was first published on Nov 12, 2014.
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