Liang Hwei  |  Singapore
Published 2014-11-05 10:00:01

Whoever said that Singaporeans aren’t charitable need to check out this IndieGoGo campaign.

Despite the recent unveiling of Sim Lim Square’s many atrocities, some of which have affected national athletes and even made it to global travel site TripAdvisor, people are still getting scammed by Sim Lim Square occupants, especially those selling the iPhone 6. And trust me, these scams aren’t little.

Image Credit: TripAdvisor
Image Credit: TripAdvisor

Pham Van Thoai, a Vietnamese tourist, who spoke to local chinese paper Lianhe Zaobao, makes a mere $200 a month as a factory worker, paid $950 for a iPhone 6 at Sim Lim Square for his girlfriend. However, when he was about to leave, he was told to pay another $1,500 for warranty. When he couldn’t pay the price and asked for a refund, he was refused. And even though the police got involved, he still left $550 poorer and without an iPhone 6.

Gabriel Kang, a Singaporean and an entrepreneur, has set up a crowd-funding campaign to help Pham, hoping to raise S$1,350, a small sum as compared to other crowdfunding campaigns out there.

Screen Shot 2014-11-05 at 5.07.31 pm

“Now most of us do some basic research online before dropping serious money on our gadgets and he must have done the same as he knew right away that S$950 was an unbelievable bargain. So the retailers make him sign some ridiculously worded invoice in english (a language he barely understands) and as he was leaving the store, they stopped him and forced him to pay an additional S$1500 for a bogus 1-year warranty before they would allow him to leave with what he believed he had purchased.

The retailers (Mobile Air Pte Ltd) “generously” offer to refund S$600 but as this would mean that 2 whole months of salary would be stolen from him, he refuses. He then goes down on his knees and begs them to refund the rest of his money while the staff at the outlet laugh as him.”

Kang’s Indiegogo campaign

Kang, who has his own tech startup, says that he is simply an ordinary Singaporean who, in his own words, ‘gives a damn’. Through his campaign, he hopes to raise enough money to get Pham an iPhone 6, a goodie bag with other Singapore treats like Bak Kwa (roasted pork snacks), Kaya jam, and spice packs, and to cover the cost of shipping. The minimum sum needed is $1,000, and Kang has promised that if the sum does fall short, he will fork out some cash from his own pocket to cover the expense.

The best thing is – despite the campaign only having been up for a day, the campaign has already hit its target! The campaign still has 8 more days to go, and we’re not sure how high it will go. But we will be keeping an eye on it.

Looks like Singaporeans do give a damn after all.


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