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Bukit Panjang salon warned by CCCS for unfair pricing practices, charged S$772 for advertised S$99 service

A hairdressing salon in Bukit Panjang received warning from The Competition and Consumer Commission of Singapore (CCCS) due to involvement in unfair practices.

Notably, the salon demanded S$772 for a haircut and hair wash service package from a customer, despite initially quoting S$99 for the same service.

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SINGAPORE: A hairdressing salon in Bukit Panjang was recently warned by The Competition and Consumer Commission of Singapore (CCCS) for engaging in unfair practices.

Among several issues, the salon demanded a customer pay S$772 for a haircut and hair wash service package, despite initially quoting S$99 for the same service.

In a statement issued on Thursday (23 Nov), CCCS disclosed that Natural Salon Pte. Ltd, situated at 260 Bangkit Road and now operating as “K Salon,” received a warning.

CCCS said The salon “took active steps to make changes to its business practices to comply with the Consumer Protection (Fair Trading) Act 2003 (CPFTA), including amending the banner with the false or misleading prices.”

CCCS’s investigation exposes Natural Salon’s deceptive pricing and membership practices

CCCS’s investigation uncovered instances between May 16, 2021, and August 11, 2021, where Natural Salon charged a customer S$772 instead of the initially stated S$99 for a haircut and hair wash package.

Additionally, the salon demanded S$35 for unrequested hair washing and scalp scanning services, although the consumer had only requested a haircut, which was supposed to cost S$2 or S$3.

During the same period, salon staff informed consumers they could get a haircut for S$2 or S$3, failing to disclose that these prices were exclusive to members, as per CCCS.

Post-haircut, consumers were charged the non-member price of S$35, necessitating a S$200 fee for access to the members-only rate.

CCCS also discovered that Natural Salon falsely advertised the price of a haircut as a “new opening special” through a storefront banner, despite the salon being open for at least eight months prior.

CCCS highlighted the actions taken by Natural Salon to rectify its practices, which included modifying the banner displaying “misleading or inaccurate prices” and ultimately removing it altogether.

The salon also fully refunded the affected consumers, according to CCCS.

Separately, Natural Salon had also given an undertaking to CCCS that it will, amongst other things, stop engaging in unfair practices identified by CCCS and those listed under the CPFTA.

The salon pledged to transparently present crucial information for consumers, such as pricing and disclaimers, in a “clear and prominent” manner on its advertising and marketing materials.

Acknowledging these efforts, CCCS accepted the salon’s commitment but issued a warning.

Although the case is closed, CCCS emphasized the possibility of reopening investigations should Natural Salon fail to uphold its commitment or engage in further unfair practices.

CCCS further emphasized that consumers are under no obligation to pay for services they did not request.

“Consumers should be wary of any offers that seem too good to be true and should confirm the prices of the services before they are performed to avoid subsequent dispute,” added CCCS.

CCCS said Consumers who encounter unfair practices can approach them for assistance.

Allegations of overcharging emerged on Google reviews against salon post-2021 incidents

However, a check on Google review, it appears that there are ongoing complaints from certain customers who claim they were allegedly overcharged at the salon.

One user, for instance, reported an incident to the police in May 2022, alleging being misled and charged S$1200 for a hair colour and keratin package.

The customer mentioned that upon expressing disinterest, the salon staff allegedly insisted on a S$1200 payment, indicating that without the package, the same services would cost as much.

The same customer also noted that neighbouring shops had reportedly seen the police visit the salon on multiple occasions.

Another customer accused the salon of using misleading advertising tactics for a S$9 haircut offer, only to pressure customers into purchasing additional services.

At the time of payment, the customer was asked for S$25, despite the advertised price being S$9.

The customer argued that the advertisements prominently displayed the S$9 price but was later informed by the staff about undisclosed terms and conditions stating that $9 was exclusively for members.

To avail the $9 price, a purchase of an $80 package was required.

The customer expressed frustration, stating that this information was not communicated beforehand nor displayed clearly anywhere except through verbal explanation.

It’s unclear whether CCCS is aware of any additional complaints from customers against the salon, beyond the incidents reported in 2021.

CASE received more than 1,400 complaints against businesses in beauty industry in 2022

In May this year, Melvin Yong,  president of the Consumers Association of Singapore (CASE), revealed that the consumer watchdog received more than 1,400 complaints against businesses in the beauty industry, where one in four complaints related to misleading and false claims and pressure sales tactics.

Mr Yong also hoped that the CCCS’ enforcement actions against Salon One end a strong signal to the industry that businesses will deter businesses from engaging in unfair practices that are detrimental to consumer interests.

To address the persistent problem of unfair practices in the beauty industry, he calls on the government to mandate a cooling-off period for the industry.

 

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too many scammer salons do this . if law was just , they should shut down all down no 2nd chances. there’s like at least 2 of these scam businesses in every single HDB shop area!!!

All these practices is not new. Hence why all these news (or actions) now from CCCS and CASE?

Who headed these 2 organisations? Is it Pappy and Cronies?

These action is not an indications that they are pro-consumers, it is an indication that GE is near.

For them, you can do nothing but must not be seen as doing nothing when GE is near. Just like all these ministers appearing on state TV programme are just a headstart for their unfair advantage.

VTO. VTO.

Their Corporate/State Corps has a smiling Shark Culture. Not service to ppl for Ripping ppl off whether by packages, lousy service etc … All parked under Govt Cash entities. You draw or we draw for you and loss in Bank Boxes especially if you dun draw …

Full of pattern until dunno what to say!!!

Wow. WTF when PAP look at the mirror what can be seen – BIG Sharks with Huge Jaws.

Can one describe PAP NOT Price Gougers? F all these Million Hair Bastards, so much so $600,000.00 is PEANUTS they claimed.

Let’s be honest, the Devil is witness.

Korean Salon

Should set up ONLY in Orchard for this kind of price.

The System benifiter can afford

Not hdb heartlands

STUPID .

Can citizens complain to the cccs for pap overcharging its citizens on everything from basic utilities to coe to housing etc? Just wondering….or is it just another toothless tiger like Case?

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