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Tourist: Negative publicity impacts all SG electronic stores

She has heard the stories and knows the reputation the mall has.

But that did not stop Australian Donna Taylor, 40, from checking out Sim Lim Square.

Ms Taylor, who was here in November on her second trip to Singapore, says she is no stranger to the notoriety that Sim Lim Square had acquired.

"I heard of Sim Lim's reputation before going there. I researched stories of other tourists, who were quite open about their experiences, the shops to stay away from and what to look for."

She read up on past incidents that plagued the mall before her visit.

"I was made aware of a situation where a customer fought to receive a refund and was then paid in small coins," recalls Ms Taylor in an e-mail interview after returning to Australia.

She had come across the incidents through an online search, and was also told when she spoke to locals while she was here. But the stories did not deter her from visiting the mall.

She says: "I guess you could say that I had a morbid fascination with Sim Lim Square, given its terrible reputation."

DID HER HOMEWORK

That does not mean she went in unprepared. She did her research beforehand to ensure that she was paying a fair price for the things she wanted.

"I knew what I wanted to buy before I went to Sim Lim Square, so I researched the prices before I went to Singapore. I also saved my larger purchases for more reputable venues," she says.

"I bought a Bluetooth speaker and headphones from the Sony store. These items had price tags attached, and I found the prices online, so I knew the prices quoted were right. I also bought a number of smaller items," she recalls.

She later posted on the travel site, TripAdvisor, that "if you know what you're after, are prepared to haggle and are well-informed, then there are some good buys to be had".

"As a tourist, I can tell you that the recent negative publicity about Sim Lim Square not only impacts the reputation of the mall, but all electronics stores in Singapore," says Ms Taylor.