The authorities caught a salon at Ang Mo Kio for engaging in multiple unfair practices. But as it turns out, the Ang Mo Kio outlet wasn’t the only one—seven other of the salon’s outlets were found doing the same.
Let’s see if you fell for the salon chain’s tricks.
Salon Chain Caught Deploying Unfair Practices, Including Pressure Sales Tactics & Misrepresentations
On Thursday (18 May), the Competition and Consumer Commission of Singapore (CCCS) released a statement that the salon chain, Salon One Beauty Salon Pte Ltd, has been caught engaging in unfair practices since 2017. These unfair practices included pressure sales tactics, misrepresentations and false health claims.
And it wasn’t just one or two Salon One outlets; eight outlets were caught, including those in Ang Mo Kio, Tampines, Marine Parade, Kovan, Bukit Batok, Pasir Ris, and Bukit Panjang.
Of course, the usual high-pressure sales tactics were used at the salon chain to market packages. Staff at the salon chain are more persistent than your ex—even after declining them numerous times, Salon One’s staff will still be on your tail trying to sell you a package.
However, that’s not all the salon chain has in its toolbox.
Let’s paint you a scenario: you’re at Salon One AMK, and the staff tells you to buy a “Herbal Head Spa” treatment because it can prevent ailments like Alzheimer’s disease and brain stroke. Better yet, it even enhances your memory.
You buy the package because you couldn’t check if the health claims were accurate before saying yes—congratulations, you just fell into the trap of Salon One’s false health claims.
Your memory probably wasn’t enhanced by the “Herbal Head Spa” treatment, but we hope the embarrassment of falling for these false health claims keeps this memory clear.
Alternatively, perhaps you walked into Salon One AMK unsure if you wanted a haircut. The staff tell you there is a discount for haircuts now; the original price was $25, but now you can get it at just $5.
You decide to get a haircut at Salon One—congratulations again, you just fell into the trap of another one of Salon One’s misrepresentations. The discount never existed. The price of haircuts at Salon One was never $25.
Such misrepresentations are what Salon One outlets islandwide have been making to customers. The salon’s branches at Bukit Batok and MP560 have mispresented time and time again the actual prices for their services.
For instance, although the discount on their “Stomach Naval Candling” service was a mere $59, customers were told it was $359.
What a deal. Of course, customers would then try to take advantage of the discount.
Customers were also told that the salon’s discounts are limited time only. Yet, the truth is that these discounts are “Opening Promotion” discounts that have been around way past the outlets’ openings.
One thing’s sure: If the salon chain continues with this, they’ll be having “Closing Promotion” discounts soon.
While the salon chain’s practices are unethical and unfair, you must give them credit for knowing how to appeal to the kiasu Singaporeans among us. It truly is our Achilles’ heel.
130 Complaints Lodged Against Salon Chain in Five Years; Salon Chain Blacklisted By CASE
In the past five years, the salon chain has had a total of 130 complaints lodged against them. For context, the number of complaints lodged against the Genius League Enrichment Centre for its sudden closure is nowhere near that number.
Talk about record-breaking. Perhaps that’s what the “One” in Salon One symbolises.
Complaints lodged against the salon chain between 2017 to 2019 eventually caught the eye of the Consumers Association of Singapore (CASE), landing the salon chain on CASE’s blacklist.
As a result, four of the salon chain’s outlets entered a Voluntary Compliance Agreement with CASE in 2019, with the AMK outlet also being issued a Company Alert.
However, this did not stop the salon chain from continuing to engage in unfair practices. It’s quite the epitome of “if you really want me right, you should chase after me”.
And “chase after” Salon One, CASE did.
After receiving more complaints about the four Salon One outlets despite the Voluntary Compliance Agreement in place, CASE decided to refer the issue to CCCS in 2020.
And imagine CCCS’s’ surprise when they subsequently discovered that not just four of Salon One’s outlets but all of Salon One’s outlets dabbled in these unfair practices.
Salon Chain Issued Warning By CCCS; Outlets Still Up and Running
The jig is up—the Salon One chain had no option but to stop with their “antics” now.
However, alongside this discovery, CCCS also gave credit where credit was due. CCCS stated that the salon chain did attempt to reduce its engagement in these unfair practices. For one, Salon One has removed its misleading advertisements and compensated affected customers.
The salon chain has also “pinky promised” CCCS by giving a series of undertakings to the competition regulator. These undertakings include ceasing the identified unfair practices, allowing customers a five-day cooling-off period to cancel transactions, and putting salon staff through training to ensure staff do not engage in unfair practices.
The director of the salon chain herself has also given an undertaking to CCCS to ensure the salon chain does not perpetuate unfair practices.
Thus, CCCS ultimately decided to issue a mere warning to the salon chain, and as such, the salon chain is still up and running today.
However, if complaints about the salon chain’s practices start to make their rounds again, CCCS will launch another investigation.
You can probably expect complaints from CCCS staff to make its rounds as well. OT-ing because of Salon One again? Dulan.
The statutory board has also stated that if necessary, declarations and court injunctions will be sought against Salon One—meaning that the full force of the law will be after the salon chain.
“We will ramp up our efforts to educate suppliers on the practices that they should avoid to comply with fair trading laws. We also want to empower consumers to be able to say “No” when they come across situations such as pushy sales tactics, offers that seem too good to be true or dubious claims,” Ms Sia Aik Kor, CCCS’ Chief Executive, added.
Think you may have been a victim of unfair practices but are not sure about it? You can find out more about these unfair practices and what your next step should be on the CASE website or call its hotline at 9795 8397.
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