Sign fair practice agreement? No, thanks

CLOSED: Tele Infinity is one of the three blacklisted People’s Park Complex retailers that has shut. ST FILE PHOTO

Three errant retailers at People's Park Complex seem to have closed down after two of them were asked to sign a Voluntary Compliance Agreement (VCA) last Friday.

The shops are Tele Infinity, Mobile Alliance and S Team, who have consistently been on the errant retailers list compiled by the Consumers Association of Singapore (Case) and the Singapore Tourism Board for the past year.

Tele Infinity and Mobile Alliance were given a deadline to sign the VCA by this Saturday or possibly face an injunction.

The signboards of all three shops have been removed and "For Rent" posters pasted on the shuttered doors.

The contact number on the posters of all three shops is the same. But no one answered when The New Paper called yesterday evening.

Neighbouring shop owners said the shops had been closed since Saturday and the shop assistants had been clearing stock over the weekend.

Yesterday morning, they were seen to be removing documents, said a shop owner who declined to be named.

The manager of the SingTel exclusive retailer at the mall, who wanted to be known as Mr Lau, believed that this is the first time an errant retailer at People's Park Complex has actually shut down a shop.

He said: "Previously, they would just change their signboards but it would be the same boss.

"Obviously, they won't sign the VCA because of the way that they have been operating their business."

The VCA is aimed at stopping retailers from engaging in unfair practices in line with the Consumer Protection (Fair Trading) Act.

Mr Lau was hopeful the errant retailers would not return.

"They might not dare to return here now that they know that action (referring to the Mobile Air incident) will be taken against them," he said.

Another retailer is not as optimistic.

The boss of Cyber 3GS, who wanted to be known only as Steven, said: "This problem has been going on for years. They could just change their signboards again."

His employee, who declined to be named, added: "We run an honest business and struggle to pay the rent. Some of my relatives have even asked if I'm associated with these errant retailers after all the news reports. It's embarrassing."