'I felt that I had been conned': Man, 61, claims he was lured into buying $1,770 package at Yishun hair salon

PHOTO: Shin Min Daily News

After visiting a hair salon in Yishun, a man found himself having to pay a total of $1,771 for three different packages. 

The man told Shin Min Daily that he visited the salon along Yishun St 71 last Saturday (Feb 5), with the intention of getting his hair cut and dyed. 

While dyeing his hair, the staff noticed that he had some scalp problems, and recommended some treatment, which the man agreed to. 

"The staff did not tell me the cost of the package until I had to foot the bill, which they said could be paid in two instalments. I thought it was ridiculous, but my phone was running out of battery, and there were other customers waiting in line, so I hastily paid $941," the 61-year-old maintenance worker said. 

The amount included packages for haircuts, hair colouring and treatment. 

"I thought about it again when I went home, and felt that I had been conned, so I told my family," he explained. 

His niece, who works in the same industry, felt that the hair salon's practices were unreasonable, and went back to the hair salon with him to confront the owner. 

In addition to the money that he paid upfront, the 61-year-old also used $95 worth of CDC vouchers to offset the cost of the packages after the staff told him he could do so.

However, the hair salon claimed that they did not receive the amount after he redeemed the vouchers. 

The man said that he was only willing to pay for the services that he used on that day, which amounted to $180, and wanted the hair salon to refund him the remaining amount. 

The confrontation with the hair salon eventually escalated, and police were called on scene to mediate the situation.

A complaint was also made to the Consumers Association of Singapore. 

When interviewed by reporters, the owner of the hair salon said that there was no reason to refund the man because he only agreed to take up the packages after he was informed of the total price. 

"He's not a child, neither does he have dementia," she said. 

She explained that the man came to the hair salon to cut and dye his hair, and had shared with the staff that he usually cuts his hair every fortnight, and dyes his hair every few months — which was why the staff decided to introduce the packages to him. 

"He lives nearby, so I offered him 15 services for the price of 13. He also agreed to take up the treatment package. I did not receive the amount from the vouchers on that day, but I got it the next day." 

The owner also claimed that the man and his family member were very aggressive when they confronted her.

"They said that they wanted to ruin my business, there were other customers in the shop at that time, so I asked them to speak to the police." 

However, she reiterated that they were unable to refund the money. "I said to him that day, we can forget about the outstanding amount, but I can't refund what he has already paid."

"The money can be used to exchange for some products from our shop; he's also welcome to come back for a haircut, but I'm worried he'll feel awkward." 

claudiatan@asiaone.com