After woman pays $538 to re-upholster sofa, salesperson goes MIA: Was she scammed?

Submitted by Stomper Jamine, Tan

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She thought she was contacted by a Picket & Rail salesperson.

But after losing $538.50, Stomper Jamine now believes it was a scammer.

She also suspects her details had been leaked.

It started with the Stomper contacting a salesperson at Picket & Rail via WhatsApp to enquire about re-upholstering her sofa.

"After that, I received a phone call and voice message from another person claiming to be a Picket & Rail salesperson," recounted Jamine.

"I was told the previous salesperson has left and he would be taking over my account. He even knew about my sales enquiry in detail. I had decided to upholster my sofa and was told to PayNow a third party $538.50.

"Since Picket & Rail only sells brand new furniture, upholstering services were done by a third party and I didn't think too much of it."

Two days passed. No one came to pick up the Stomper's sofa.

"I then tried to contact the salesperson, but the mobile number was no longer in use," she said.

"I called Picket & Rail and they were very quick to deny responsibility.

"Either they are sharing information with scammers internally or their WhatsApp got hacked by scammers. Either way, they have denied responsibility for my matter."

Jamine added: "A warning to Picket & Rail customers, your database may be leaked to scammers."

In response to a Stomp query, a spokesman for Picket & Rail said: "We have informed our staff to advise the customer involved to report this matter to the police for further investigation.

"We will deal with the customer accordingly with regards to the false accusation about us leaking database to scammers.

"We do not condone such acts nor are we in the business of scamming people."

Stomper Tan has a different problem with Picket & Rail.

He said that a part of his armchair from the company broke in September and he paid $150 for its repair.

"Two months later, the same seat joint broke again. I had a hard time contacting their sales staff as they either didn't answer my calls or didn't reply to my WhatsApp messages," recounted Tan.

"When they finally replied, the response was they had a manpower issue and thus were unable to give me a definite solution. This matter has dragged on and I am still waiting for their answer on the second repair."

Last month, Stomp reported that several Picket & Rail customers did not receive the furniture they ordered after waiting for months.

When contacted by Stomp, Consumers Association of Singapore (Case) president Melvin Yong said that Case received 16 consumer complaints against Picket & Rail from Jan 1 to Dec 27.

"In general, consumers complained their furniture orders were not fulfilled within the agreed timelines. Some consumers also complained that the products delivered were defective or did not conform to specified dimensions," said Mr Yong.

Case advises the following when buying furniture:

  • Check the retailer’s track record by reading company and product reviews before transacting with the retailer.
  • Refrain from making full payment before the furniture is delivered. Where possible, opt to pay a small deposit and make the remaining payment only upon receiving all items in good condition.
  • Put down all verbal promises (such as the delivery date and type of mattress/bed frame) in writing, and keep all proof of purchase like receipts and invoices. These documents are important to support your case in the event of disputes.
  • Request for the retailer to indicate the delivery dates/timeframe in the contract, and the conditions and procedure for refund, if the items are not delivered by the agreed timeline.
  • Inspect the furniture for scratches or other forms of damage and verify that there are no missing items. Contact the company immediately for a resolution if there are missing items or damage to furniture upon delivery.