This happened in Singapore where tight control and security was taken seriously. One of today’s New Paper headline caught my attention and it read: “Woman pays $2,600 for ‘upgraded’ PSP”.
A woman went to one of the local shops along Orchard Road to buy a PSP for her 12-year-old daughter and ended up paying a ridiculous bill of S$3,500 for the unit, which is inclusive of ‘original software licenses for firmware upgrades and game downloads’. She was able to negotiate down to S$2,600.
When she found out she was scammed, she went back to the shop the next day to confront them. Instead of a full apology and refund, the shop actually maintained their stance that they did nothing wrong. After a lengthy a negotiations, she agreed on a sum of S$1,000 (which is still way way overpriced by the way. The suggested local pricing for the PSP is only S$290). The woman made a report to the Consumer’s Association of Singapore later, but as she had agreed on the final sum of S$1,000, no charges can be made against the shop.
While it is very clear that the consumer needs to be educated, such irresponsible sales ethics (in the words of our Mr. Toffee, “should be flogged”). This is a classic case of the magic stone con. The shop in question was located inside a mall, with plenty of other electronic shops also selling PSPs for ‘normal’ prices, so how could the consumer still fall for such trickery, and how could the salesmen of this particular shop pull off such a con?
To make the story credible, here’s the receipt being circulated in Hardware Zone:
You can read the original news report here.