SingPost apologises after getting caught trying to trick man who paid S$7,000 to distribute flyers

Good thing they are not in charge of delivering us from sins.

Mandy How | January 12, 2019, 12:51 PM

[Update on Jan. 12 1.21pm: SingPost said that they will be giving the business owner a full refund.]

[Update on Jan. 12 3.39pm: Here's the apology statement in full:

“SingPost would like to extend our sincerest apologies to Mr Tan for the incident, and have offered him a full refund. He has accepted the offer.”]

SingPost didn't manage to end the year 2018 right.

And it seems like they're having trouble starting 2019 well too, unfortunately.

Printing and distribution service

A massage parlour owner in Singapore alleges that he engaged a service from SingPost that prints and distributes flyers, getting them to print and deliver 65,000 copies for S$7,000, only for the mail company to fail to fulfil their end of the commercial agreement.

To make matters worse, 32-year-old Chen Rong Sheng claims that SingPost tried to dupe him into thinking that the task had indeed been carried out.

The incident was reported by Lianhe Wanbao on Jan. 10, 2019.

This is the service in question, according to the Chinese daily:

Did not receive any flyers

The entire fiasco, Wanbao reports, started on Nov. 19, 2018, when Chen placed his order with SingPost.

Punggol and Sengkang were among the estates where the flyers were supposed to be distributed.

The date of the distribution was set for Nov. 26 to Dec. 4, 2018.

However, Chen, who lives in Sengkang, was reportedly puzzled when he did not receive any flyers that day.

When the business owner then asked two of his staff who lived in Punggol if they had received any flyers, both said they had not.

Replied with photos of the flyers in letterboxes

Chen then reportedly got in touch with SingPost via email on Dec. 7, and the latter replied him on Dec. 12 and Dec. 14 with photos of the flyers in letterboxes, as proof that they were distributed.

Seeing the photos, Chen's doubts were initially allayed.

That is, until another of his relative, who also lives in Sengkang, told Chen that he, too, never saw his flyer.

Chen reportedly then re-looked at the photos that SingPost has sent him. He told Wanbao,

"When I checked the photos, I realised that the flyers in different letterboxes all had the number '2709' handwritten on them. They also had the same markings, indicating that the flyers in different photos were actually the same."

Increasingly suspicious, Chen decided to enquire with SingPost again, but did not get a response.

He has since made a police report over the matter.

The police confirmed with Wanbao that they did indeed receive Chen's report.

Wants a full refund

Naturally, Wanbao reports, Chen is unhappy with the way things have turned out.

The business owner initially wanted his friend to handle the project, but said friend was no longer in the same trade — hence his decision to engage SingPost's services.

After this incident, Chen reportedly said he will be looking for another way to distribute his flyers in the future. He was quoted saying,

"If the flyers had been distributed, there should have been some discarded [by the residents] in the dustbins, but I didn't see a single flyer."

Chen reportedly hopes SingPost will be able to provide a reasonable explanation, and plans to get a full refund from the mail company.

SingPost: Lapses in initial investigation

In a statement shared with Mothership, SingPost admits that there were lapses in the initial investigation carried out by its staff, and that they have taken disciplinary action against those involved.

SingPost said after the Dec. 7 enquiry from Chen, they launched an investigation, and their findings were made known to Chen in mid-December.

We take the "findings" referred to in their statement to be the photos of the flyers they had sent the business owner.

However, as Chen continued to have doubts, SingPost started another round of investigation in response to his suspicions, and discovered that there were "lapses" in the first round of investigations.

The mail company added that they are grateful for Chen's feedback, as it is a chance for them to improve their work processes, and appreciate the patience shown by Chen and the public.

Here's their statement in full:

"SingPost takes customer feedback seriously and a series of investigations was launched following the issues raised by Mr Johnson Tan.

The first round of investigations was launched when Mr Tan contacted SingPost on 7 December 2018. We had shared our findings with Mr Tan in mid-December. When Mr Tan had an extra round of concerns, SingPost launched another investigation into his claims. This time, acting on the pointers raised by Mr Tan, the findings indicated that our ground teams had indeed been negligent in the first round of investigations. We have since closed the loop on these gaps, including disciplinary action taken against offenders.

We thank Mr Tan for working closely with us and giving us the opportunity to improve on our processes. At the same time, SingPost will use this as another learning opportunity to better its processes. We thank Mr Tan and the public for their patience with us."

Top image via SingPost/Facebook