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Hair salon manager refuses $4,800 refund to elderly woman, says money paid out as wages

Hair salon manager refuses $4,800 refund to elderly woman, says money paid out as wages
The police report (left) and the salon near Bedok MRT station that she went to (right).
PHOTO: Shin Min Daily News

All she wanted was a simple hair wash. 

Yet somehow, one 82-year-old woman, who goes by the name Weng, ended up leaving a hair salon near Bedok MRT station with a scalp care package and $4,760 less in her bank, reported Shin Min Daily News.  

This elderly woman apparently didn't even notice how much she paid for that package until her son and daughter-in-law found that out while checking her bank account earlier this month. 

The anxious couple then approached the salon for a refund, only to be told that the money had been already paid out to their employees for their wages.

According to the Chinese daily, the elderly woman said she was persuaded by the hair salon to purchase a treatment package of 20 sessions. 

But the weird thing was, she doesn't recall forking out so much money for it. 

"She said she went with the maid. And that she just wanted to wash her hair and she only remembered making payment at the salon, but she forgot how much she paid," her son said. 

According to her bank book records, she was first charged $3,000 via her ATM card, reported Shin Min. 

Then one of the salon employees allegedly followed her to an ATM to withdraw another $1,800. 

On this part, the elderly woman shared that she only remembers keying in her personal identification number (PIN) at the machine but does not remember entering the amount to be withdrawn. 

Her son also pointed out that his mother is hard of hearing and completely deaf in her left ear, so she may not have fully understood what packages the salon was selling. 

Police report made 

In hopes of solving the issue, her son went down to the store to talk to the manager and was told that his mother had bought a package where each session came up to $238. 


When asked about the possibility of a refund, the manager allegedly told her son that it was hard to refund the money. 

"This happened two months ago, the money has already been paid out as wages, so it's really hard for us to get it back," the manager also told the Chinese daily.

Unhappy, her son told the Chinese daily that he is unsure why the refund is not possible, especially since the hair salon would have records of the transaction. 

He said that he has since made a police report on behalf of his mother.  

$18 massage to $40,000 package 

Earlier this year, another elderly woman forked around $40,000 for a beauty package

The 70-year-old woman had gone for a one-hour $18 massage at a wellness centre in People's Park Centre after receiving a flyer. 

Despite confirming the price with the staff, she ended up forking out $180 for the session as the staff added on other services like a facial, body massage and foot massage. 

"I didn't request for any of these things, and they didn't inform me beforehand," she said. 

That wasn't the end of it.

The staff went on to ask the woman to sign up for a $2,000 massage package. Thinking it was a reasonable amount, she agreed. 

During subsequent visits, the staff would tell the woman she had issues like blocked breast ducts, and blood circulation issues, so she ended up forking out $8,000 for a breast care package, $12,000 for a herbal treatment and $18,000 for a fourth package. 

Eventually, she realised something was amiss and complained to the Consumers Association of Singapore. She was refunded $20,000.

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