Sat, 03 Sep 1994

Shopping in Singapore

Singapore has always promoted itself as a shoppers' paradise. I had many great shopping sprees there myself and I believe most of the sales in reputable stores are genuine. The Singapore government would not bother to invest millions of dollars promoting "The Great Singapore Sale" just for traders to take advantage of, or cheat local and foreigners alike.

As for Mrs. Fauzia's letter dated Aug. 26, 1994 concerning her experience in purchasing a bottle of perfume from Takashimaya, and later her disappointment in discovering that the perfume was cheaper at the Duty Free Shop in Changi Airport, I couldn't have put it better than R. Gulliver's reply dated Aug. 31, 1994. I believe nobody was forcing her to buy it from Takashimaya. Prices are marked clearly and it varies from one shop to the other. As a consumer, she has the right to choose and compare. Instead, she took the option of buying first and comparing later.

I believe that Hotel Excelsior which has a counter for tours would not have just one girl managing the counter, who then disappears for the next three days. If only Mrs. Fauzia took the initiative to make inquiries and not just look for that particular girl, she would have gotten an explanation as to why she was charged more.

With regards to the cost of breakfast for which Mrs. Fauzia paid $2 less than on the previous day for the same meal, did it not occur to her that perhaps the cashier undercharged her? Is it because of the fact that she was charged less than the previous day that she did not highlight the discrepancy? Had she been charged higher than the first day her reaction might have been otherwise. In this case it remains doubtful as to which party was short-charged. However, at the time the one who noticed the discrepancy chose to remain silent for reasons best known to herself.