Ladies and gents, I think we’ve found out where your situationship learnt their “ghosting” skills from.
They probably learnt it from this air-con installer who allegedly ghosted a customer after receiving a $3,000 deposit.
And this wasn’t a standalone incident.
Air-Con Installer Allegedly Ghosted Customer After Customer Paid $3,000 Deposit
We all know how tedious it is to furnish your home, whether installing air-con or purchasing furniture. That’s why many Singaporeans hire interior designers and tap on these designers’ contacts for such services.
However, at least one Singaporean will be extra wary of doing so in the future after her not-so-enjoyable experience dealing with an air-con installer that bo zuo gang.
According to Shin Min Daily News, 48-year-old Ms Chen (hanyu pinyin) purchased a Tampines flat in March last year.
To install the air-con system at her new flat, Ms Chen contracted an air-con installer recommended by her interior designer.
There’s nothing wrong with that; it’s a common practice in Singapore.
Initially, Ms Chen was asked to pay approximately $1,500 as a deposit for electrical wiring works carried out in association with the air-con installation.
She made the payment.
It was only subsequently, when she was requested to fork out another sum to “reserve” the air-con units, that she realised something was off.
Regardless, she also made this second payment, bringing the deposit paid to a sum of over $3,000. Fortunately, she was sharp enough to request an itemised invoice.
Yet, even that was far from enough to save her.
She was subsequently “ghosted” by the air-con installer.
Air-Con Installer Delayed and Missed Four Installation Sessions
Air-con installation, honestly, can be done in one session.
However, even after four “scheduled” sessions with the air-con installer, Ms Chen’s newly-purchased flat still didn’t have an air-con. The reason? The air-con installer constantly delayed and missed the installation sessions without good reason.
In June last year, a total of four installation sessions were missed.
Whenever he missed an installation session, he would apologise, offer compensation, and schedule another date for installation.
And no prizes for correct guesses—he would miss the next installation session again.
It’s like when your girlfriend apologises for going out with her ex because they’re “just friends”, only to do it another three more times in the same month.
Air-Con Installer Didn’t Even Order Customer’s Air-Con Units
Of course, at this point, Ms Chen knew something was off. She called the air-con company directly to get to the bottom of the issue.
To her surprise, the air-con installer didn’t just “ghost” her; he also wholly blindsided her—he didn’t even order the air-con units she supposedly paid to “reserve”.
We don’t know for sure, but it seems like her money probably went to paying for the air-con installer’s lunch instead…
Customer Lodges Claim Against Air-Con Company; Air-Con Installer Taunts Customer
As a result, Ms Chen decided to lodge a claim against the air-con company in the Small Claims Tribunal.
But even then, the air-con installer would continue proving to be a thorn in her side.
When the air-con installer found out that she had lodged such a claim, he allegedly contacted her to ask about the claim’s progress and taunted her about whether she could recover her money.
In Singaporean terms, we say that the air-con installer was merely trying to suan Ms Chen.
According to Shin Min Daily News, even before that, when Ms Chen informed the air-con installer that she was seeking a refund, the installer merely responded with: “Noted, thanks.”
A BM like no other…
Interior Designer Shares that Air-Con Company is Reliable; Case Reports Show Otherwise
Despite Ms Chen’s experience, it appears that the interior designer who recommended the air-con installer always found the air-con installer to be reliable.
Apparently, no issues were raised by the interior designer’s customers about the air-con installer for three years. Customers would even request the air-con installer’s services repeatedly.
After hearing of Ms Chen’s woes, the air-con installer confirm pua stun.
Perhaps Ms Chen’s case was an isolated one; after all, when the interior designer contacted the air-con installer about the issue, he merely said that he was “busy”.
Well, that’s all good, except that reports from the Consumers Association of Singapore (Case) show otherwise.
According to Case president Melvin Yong, as of October 2023, eight customers of the air-con company have lodged complaints against it.
These complaints surfaced the same problems that Ms Chen faced with the air-con installer—delayed installation works even after payments were made.
To make things worse, the air-con company made it difficult for these distressed customers to recover their paid monies even though installation works were not done.
Case has already written to the air-con company on behalf of three customers to seek recourse.
Thanks to the air-con company’s constant delays, Ms Chen had to contract another air-con installer to complete the air-con installation works.
As you’d recall, the guai lan air-con installer already did the electrical wiring works, except they weren’t exactly “done”.
When Ms Chen contracted a new air-con installer, she discovered that the wiring works were not done correctly—these wirings had to be redone.
This brings “you had one job” to a whole new level.
As a result, Ms Chen and her elderly mother could only move into their, at this point, not-so-new flat in December 2022—nine months after the flat was purchased.
And four months later than they initially expected to move in.
The lesson here is to be cautious about the services you engage lah—while your interior designer might be trustworthy, their contacts might not necessarily be.
Better safe than sorry.