S'pore party decor vendor goes MIA for 14-year-old girl's birthday after receiving S$350 payment

More than fifty guests showed up to an undecorated function room.

Daniel Seow | February 02, 2024, 01:26 PM



More than fifty guests turned up at the birthday party of a 14-year-old girl at a HomeTeamNS Khatib function room on Jan. 13.

The party decoration company that was hired for the occasion, however, did not.

The girl's aunt, who wished to be referred to as Iirah, spent what was meant to be a joyous celebration frantically trying to contact the company staff.

She has since lodged a police report, and is still waiting for a refund of S$350.

Paid full fee of S$350 before actual day

Iirah told Mothership that on Jan. 6, she came across the Instagram page of a vendor named "The Party Studio".

She said her sister-in-law engaged the same company for an event in December, which went without incident.

So Iirah contacted the vendor over WhatsApp and hired them to prepare decorations for her niece's 14th birthday party.

Image courtesy of Iirah.

She paid S$200 as a 50 per cent deposit that day, to a payee "Joey".

Despite both parties initially agreeing to have the balance paid after the event, the vendor pressed Iirah for the payment after they finalised the decorations.

"We used to collect after setup but due to encounters we have with clients who MIA after the event, we need to collect once the setup timing is agreeable to prevent such things from happening again," the vendor wrote.

So Iirah complied, sending over another S$150.

Vendor didn't show up at party venue

On Jan. 13, Iirah waited at the party venue at HomeTeamNS Khatib for the decorations crew to show up at the agreed time of 5:30pm.

However, they didn't, so she started messaging and calling the vendor.

The room started filling up with some fifty to sixty guests, including family members and the girl's friends.

Iirah said the last time they held such a party was before the pandemic, so they were all looking forward to it.

To her dismay, the birthday girl and her siblings started asking her, "How come there is no party backdrop?"

At 5:45pm, Iirah got a reply from the vendor, who explained that the person with the items had gone overseas on a family emergency.

Screenshot of conversation courtesy of Iirah.

The vendor also said they would arrange for another helper to come down with the decor, but that never happened.

Iirah decided to go ahead with the party — sans decor — but couldn't help feeling sad about it.

Image courtesy of Iirah.

"She is my favourite niece and I wanted to make it special for her," she admitted.

Iirah also criticised the vendor's lack of communication prior to going MIA on the day.

"If they really have family emergencies, at least tell us earlier and provide some service recovery. Don't just keep us in the dark," she said.

Not the only one

Iirah tried leaving a negative review on the vendor's Instagram page the next day (Jan. 14).

But this was soon deleted and she was also blocked.

She subsequently lodged a police report.

Iirah also found similar reviews on the vendor's Facebook page from two other alleged victims.

They claimed the vendor had informed them last minute that they couldn't set up the decorations, due to urgent personal matters or manpower crises.


Screenshot from 'The Party Studio' FB page courtesy of Iirah.

Screenshot from 'The Party Studio' FB page courtesy of Iirah.

Mothership reached out to one of the reviewers, Linda Chua, who said she reported the vendor to the Consumers Association of Singapore (CASE) after they went MIA.

The vendor has since compensated Chua the S$350 she paid.

Another victim, who wished to be known as Mei, said she lost S$400 after the vendor told her to make the balance payment to "facilitate the flow [of the] setup process" on the actual day.

The vendor has taken down both their Facebook and Instagram pages as of Jan. 24.

Ruined parties

Iirah, too, hasn't been refunded the S$350 that she paid yet.

But she said the money isn't the main reason for sharing her story.

"It's just a very sad thing to have someone ruin the party, and I don't want others to face the same situation," she explained.

Mei, who hired the vendor for her baby's 100-day celebration, similarly felt that the turn of events was upsetting and disappointing.

"It's really a missed opportunity to have beautiful memories captured at an important life event," she said.

Mothership has reached out to The Party Studio for comment, but have yet to receive a reply as of Feb. 2.

Three consumer complaints received in Jan. 2024: CASE

In response to Mothership's enquiries, Melvin Yong, president of CASE, said that from Jan. 1 to Jan. 31, 2024, the agency received three consumer complaints against The Party Studio.

CASE did not receive any complaints before January 2024.

In general, consumers reported that The Party Studio failed to provide party decoration services as contracted despite having received monies from them, Yong noted.

He added that consumers also complained that the company was slow in responding to queries and follow-ups.

Consumers who encounter such disputes may approach CASE (hotline: 6277 5100; website: www.case.org.sg).

Top image from Iirah.