Sim Lim Square retailers speak up against bad reputation

SINGAPORE - Sim Lim Square is known as the go-to place in Singapore for electronic gadgets, but is also notorious for bad service and dubious sales tactics.

The mall has been making headlines in recent weeks after reports of cheating and overcharging involving shops there.

The management committee at Sim Lim Square released a statement on Monday appealing for help in weeding out the errant retailers at its mall after many years of futile attempts, including seeking help from the police, the Consumers' Association of Singapore and the Singapore Tourism Board.

Shop owners SPH Razor spoke to say the problem comes from a handful of dishonest sellers.

Kelvin Siah, a sales manager at Fuwell International, told SPH Razor that the incidents mainly happen at the lower levels and it's affecting the building's reputation. "For the top storeys like [those selling] computers, it's quite okay. But I mean tourists will stop visiting us well," he said.

Shop owners say the mall's bad reputation has affected sales in recent years. As the shops are individually owned, the management is unable to eliminate the errant retailers.

Despite the bad reputation, some customers are still willing to shop there.

One customer interviewed advised others to research more about what they want to buy online before visiting the mall. He added that customers can also look at brochures distributed around Sim Lim that state the names of the shops which have received numerous complaints.

Another customer opinioned that most of the unreliable retailers are mobile shops, and those buying computer products are not affected.

"There are some shops that are still reliable. I think it depends on the customer. You shouldn't go for bargains. If the deal is too good to be true, it probably is. There is no free meal in this world," said an unnamed customer interviewed.