Monday, February 04, 2008

Square 2 or Scam 2

I must admit, I am no exception like all Singaporean to the love of shopping and being attracted to a good deal.

When something like this came up,

I know that I just could not miss it.

A few reason that I feel that it is a good deal:

1). My Wife works in the next building
2). I need to meet up with her on every Friday for her ante-natal class
3). There are a few items worth more than $50 that we need to purchase and some shops there sells it.

Given all these, we went ahead and spend our money there.... not because it is most convenient and cheap, but we felt that prize redemption beats ang bao wrapper and lucky draw at any given day.

Well, what turned out as a good deal was nothing more than a gimmick.

Yes, I got what I wanted, a steamboat for the reunion dinner but that is after 2 trips and a very long queue from 8am.

If you think that I was pissed, you should see these people

And if you asked me, I believe that they have good reason to, as when I was there on Saturday, at about 12, which was 1 hour after the opening of the redemption, this was how it was
Nothing to change

On a closer look

Long line

And 1 short video of some very angry shoppers

And all these you can find here

And what I felt was bad management pure and simple was,

1). They started off being really slack about the terms and condition and started to make up more rules as they go along.

2). Was it that there were cases during the promo that some of the tenants actually went to exchange for the higher priced items resulting in those high value items being completely replenished just 1 to week into the event.

3). The whole idea of having a quota each day for redemption is in a way, rather silly as it will require people to keep going back to not shop, but just to queue to redeem the items. What they could have simply done was to :
a). Have a while stock last and close the event when the items run out and reduce all these grief
b). Stock up more of the items just so that shopper that spent money actually can redeem their items.

4). When the higher valued items ran out, asking the shoppers to redeem the lower value items, Now, the problem with that is, the value does not really equates, and given the limitation of 3 items per person, it means that the shopper will have to walk away with 3 packet of Yeos Drink instead of the Yu Yan Seng Hamper, does that measured up? Hardly. And I can assured you that nobody will be grateful for this swap.

Some people actually made a deliberate choice to shop there based on the fact that the promotion makes it worth their while to go there and bringing their money with them.
Fool me once, shame on me; fool me twice, shame on you.....
Those disgruntled shoppers may very well not take the bait come the next round. Maybe they do not care as there are one new sucker born everyday.

From the response on STOMP, I am not the only one and there are some more nuance and incidents of a poorly managed event

muahahahaha said on 04 Feb, 2008
wow, i was told that one of the reason that the abalone ran out so fast is that some of the staff working there actually kept reciepts that customers left behind and through 'relations' get teh abalone... maybe novena should actually check on it. not sure how true it is...

muahahahaha said on 04 Feb, 2008
yap! same scenario as Sash, my aunt was told "the next day", which is today, my aunt made a trip back again and was told, everything is fully redeem! end up only have few packet of water~ cheat!

Sash said on 04 Feb, 2008
However, I think she cld b friendlier & more consistent cos I think she only checks in d morning when ppl r q-ing. According to a fellow customer in q with me, Cynthia "abused" her authority on 28 Jan morning when she cut q and redeemed for her friend.

Sash said on 04 Feb, 2008
I heard a lady named Cynthia who checked ppl's receipts b4 they can redeem explained they had lost a stamp used to chop the stamps for every $50. That's y d need to check and also to prevent Square 2 tenants fr abusing the promotion.

Sash said on 04 Feb, 2008
It's ridiculous to expect customers to come back the next day to q to redeem gifts. I'd to go twice cos the abalone ran out. There was this aunty who q-ed at least 3 days in a row like 9am. Each time she redeemed at least 2 big items.

Sash said on 04 Feb, 2008
There are lots of terms and conditions. It was the same for Xmas at Square 2. Many customers felt con as the retail sales ppl made them buy stuff saying they can redeem gifts, which were fully redeemed already.

End of the day, Caveat Emptor. Even if it sounds like a good and reasonable deal, you may have to run through loops to get it or get royaly shafted.

But the real hero, are those customer service staff there. From what I understood, they were there day in and day out, putting up with shoppers which could be either angry, unreasonable or just down right abusive. This together with the unforgiving terms and condition, and from what I understand from 1, a management that were never present but reprimand them at the end of the day, they are the one that deserves our salute.

As for the Managements of Square2, shame on you.

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