A Singaporean couple paid S$28,700 to an Interior Designer (ID) company for their renovation works, only to have the renovation process delayed, and subsequent promises for a refund protracted.
Speaking to Mothership, Tay, 25, shared that the entire ordeal had impacted herself and her husband, both new homeowners, greatly.
"It impacts greatly on other people's lives, especially when the homeowners are expecting a nicely furnished house, but it turns into a nightmare."
Found company on Instagram
Tay shared that she had discovered the company – Signature K Concept Pte. Ltd. – via Instagram advertisements.
After taking a look at the company's profile, she had decided to give the company a shot despite them being relatively new, as they had good designs.
She added that as the company's team comprised younger people, their target audience appeared clear: young and new homeowners like Tay and her husband.
As theirs was an HDB resale flat, Tay shared that the process had happened "pretty quickly". The total sum quoted for their renovation works was at S$55,000, reportedly because it was a resale flat.
The boss of the company had also showed them a couple of "three-dimensional designs" of the renovations, and they had even viewed the flat together.
The couple made a payment of S$28,700 on Dec. 19, 2021, for the deposit and an initial payment, as the contract required payments to be made progressively.
According to Tay, renovation works for the apartment was supposed to start the following week.
However, that was when things went awry.
"Excuses every week"
Tay shared that the boss of the company, who they were liaising with, started giving "new excuses each week", as to why the works on the house had not begun.
No updates were provided on what the timeline for the renovation works was, added Tay.
Citing suspicions over the company's reliability, Tay and her husband decided to withdraw from working with Signature K Concept, and requested for a refund.
Refund drags on
According to Tay, the boss of the company had promised to refund their money in full by the end of the week itself, in December.
However, after the week had passed, Tay shared that the boss had continued to delay their refund.
She added that he had later informed them in late January 2022 that he had used their money to "tide over his company" during the previous month.
The boss also claimed that their company had "needed to do a year end audit", and would thus only be able to provide Tay with a refund on Jan. 21.
Tay said: "We still have yet to receive any updates on the settlement agreement or if any money is going to be refunded to us."
Company apparently experiencing financial problems
According to scam.sg, a site where users can "report" scams, nine individuals have reported that the company – Signature K Concept Pte Ltd. – could be a scam.
Most comments also shared similar experiences to Tay, of delays in renovation works, followed by subsequent delays in the refunding of their monies.
According to Shin Min Daily News, another affected customer said that they had received a lawyer's letter from the company on Jan. 18, explaining that the company had run into financial difficulties, and was experiencing problems in sustaining the business.
As such, they would be making the refunds to their customers in "progressive repayments", as soon as they could.
The lawyer representing the company told the Chinese paper that they would be speaking to the company on Feb. 28, to better understand their position, before updating the affected customers on the next steps for the refund process.
Mothership has reached out to Regal Law LLC, and will update this story with their response.
Tay shared that on her end, they had been supposed to receive the settlement agreement from the lawyer by Feb. 28.
Monthly repayments from the company were supposed to start in March. However, that too, is delayed, and Tay has not yet heard back from the lawyer or the company regarding the settlement agreement and their refund.
Tay noted that the company has since taken down all of their profiles on social media, as well as their website.
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All images via Tay