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The New Paper
Jul 31, 2023
Approached by a door-to-door salesman selling durians, an elderly woman said she was duped into paying almost three times the actual price of the fruit.
Speaking to Shin Min Daily News, Ma Yulian, 84, said a man who visited her home at Block 845 Jurong West Street 81 tricked her into paying more than $300 for eight durians.
Ma said the salesman was in his 20s and lugged a trolley of durians in her neighbourhood on Friday (July 28) evening.
"I wanted to buy durians for my son, so I told the man I wanted eight durians. He told me there was only one Musang King left, but the other durians he had were also good," Ma explained to Shin Min.
Ma said she paid the man RM400 (S$120) after he told her he came from Malaysia and would accept ringgit.
"He then told me RM400 wasn't enough, so I gave him another $90,” she said.
However, the salesman told her that the amount still wasn't enough. So, Ma paid him another $130.
Accepting close to $340 (after conversion) in total, the man opened up the durians and packed them into eight plastic boxes.
Ma then gave three of the eight boxes to her friend surnamed Chen, 75.
As the day went on, Ma felt unsettled about her purchase and realised she might have overpaid for the durians.
Her friend Chen told Shin Min that the flesh of the durian was too moist, although she didn't think too much of it until Ma had told her how much she had paid for the fruit.
Ma said she hasn't made a police report, but hopes that her experience would at least serve as a warning to others.
Speaking with Shin Min, Durian Garden's owner Cai Chengcai advised customers to purchase durians from local stalls instead, because these shops would be regulated and price gouging would be unlikely.
After viewing photos of the durians Ma bought, both Cai and Durian Kaki owner Huang Chuyi said the durians were mostly of a Thai variety.
Typically, a Musang King durian costs about $40, while a Thai durian costs $15, they said.