The Competition and Consumer Commission of Singapore (CCCS) has commenced legal proceedings against Nail Palace, seeking declarations and injunctions for allegedly engaging in one or more unfair practices.
Nail Palace had also refused to enter the Voluntary Compliance Agreement (VCA) with Consumers Association of Singapore (CASE).
There have been complaints against Nail Palace over the years.
This includes a complaint made by a customer's son who accused Nail Palace of hard-selling practices last December.
Refused to enter Voluntary Compliance Agreement
To alert consumers, CASE said that they had previously issued a warning letter to Nail Palace and flagged them out for alleged complaints relating to pressure sales tactics.
In response to Mothership's enquiries, CASE said they received 40 consumer complaints against Nail Palace last year, from Jan. 1 to Dec. 27.
"The majority of the complaints pertain to salon staff using pressure sales tactics on consumers to purchase manicure or pedicure treatment packages and products," said CASE.
CASE had invited Nail Palace to enter into a Voluntary Compliance Agreement (VCA) as provided for under the Consumer Protection (Fair Trading) Act (CPFTA) to cease its unfair practices and to compensate affected consumers in 2019.
However, Nail Palace declined to enter into the VCA, and CASE noted that they continued to receive such complaints against Nail Palace after that.
CASE also referred Nail Palace to the Competition and Consumer Commission of Singapore (CCCS) for investigation under the Consumer Protection (Fair Trading) Act (CPFTA) in Nov. 2019.
Legal proceedings against Nail Palace
In response to Mothership's queries, CCCS said the following:
"CCCS has commenced separate legal proceedings in the State Courts against Nail Palace (BPP) Pte. Ltd. and Nail Palace (SM) Pte. Ltd. seeking, amongst other things, declarations and injunctions for having allegedly engaged in one or more unfair practices under the Consumer Protection (Fair Trading) Act.
CCCS filed the court applications with the State Courts on 17 December 2021."
"Consumers who wish to seek redress and/or compensation from entities operating under the 'Nail Palace' brand name can approach the Consumers Association of Singapore (CASE) for assistance," CCCS added.
In December 2021, the son of a Nail Palace customer wrote in to Mothership to share that his 67-year-old mother had accumulated S$80,000 in credit card charges at the nail salon in the past two years.
One receipt showed that the nail salon had charged his mother over S$11,000 during a single visit.
The man said that the staff would repeatedly call his mother and harass her to return to the store and would prevent her from leaving if she did not purchase more packages.
He also complained of their overpriced services and packages, and pointed out countless similar online complaints of hard-selling by other customers.
In response, Nail Palace said that they do not harass customers, but instead they only called their VIP customers to schedule appointments during the pandemic "to prevent any complaints or disappointments".
Regarding the claim that the customer was not allowed to leave the store, the nail salon said that her experience was due to "some misunderstanding", adding that she has never filed any official complaints or requested any refunds.
Nail Palace also stated that their prices are comprised of multiple sessions of services provided together with the use of the products, not for just the products themselves.
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Top images by Nail Palace and Osman Amat via Google Maps.