SINGAPORE: K Salon, previously warned by The Competition and Consumer Commission of Singapore (CCCS) for unfair practices, has once again gained notoriety on social media for allegedly charging customers an undisclosed additional amount for treatment.
The hairdressing salon located in Bukit Panjang faced accusations of charging a female customer a staggering S$521, despite initially quoting only S$125 for hair dye.
On Monday (4 Dec), a netizen named Justin Tan took to the Facebook group “Complaint Singapore” to highlight the salon’s alleged overcharging practices.
Tan explained that his mother visited the shop the previous Saturday to inquire about the price for hair dye, initially quoted at S$125.
However, the manager allegedly hard-sell a S$250 package, assuring her that the remaining amount could be used for future services like haircuts.
When Tan’s mother returned on Monday for the hair dye appointment, upon completion, the staff unexpectedly demanded an additional S$271.
The salon claimed it was for three sessions of hair bleaching at S$99 each.
Upon discovering the excessive charges, Tan’s mother contacted him, prompting him to rush to the salon and confront the staff.
Following the confrontation, the staff agreed to a refund of S$100.
However, upon closer inspection at home, it was allegedly she had only been refunded S$90, as Tan disclosed in his post.
Expressing disbelief at the S$521 charge for hair dyeing, Tan concluded his post hoping to caution others against patronizing the salon.
“Just by naming your salon with a Korean branding does not give you the right to overcharge customers,” he wrote.
The same salon was warned by CCCS before for 2021 unfair practices
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 warning for engaging in unfair 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 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 Consumer Protection (Fair Trading) Act (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.
Allegations of overcharging emerged on Google reviews against the salon
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.
11 complaints reported against the salon in 2023
According to the online media outlet Mothership, Melvin Yong, President of the Consumers Association of Singapore (CASE), responded to the recent allegations concerning the salon.
He confirmed that the regulatory body had received a complaint against K Salon involving the complainant’s mother being unexpectedly charged an additional amount for treatment without prior notification.
As the complaint is under review for resolution, Mr Yong mentioned that CASE is currently unable to provide further comments on the matter.
Furthermore, Yong added that from 1 January to 5 December 2023, CASE had received a total of 11 consumer complaints, including the aforementioned issue, against the salon.
Consumers reported experiencing coercive sales tactics during their visits for hair-related services at the salon.
They also claimed that the salon charged them higher amounts than initially quoted for additional services or treatments without their consent.
Yong highlighted that such actions fall under unfair practices according to the CPFTA.
He encouraged consumers who encounter similar practices to seek assistance from CASE through their hotline (6277 5100) or website.
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