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Some salesmen near People's Park Complex have allegedly been misinforming members of the public, telling them that they had ‘freebies’ to be given out, only to reveal that a payment of $99 was needed when the individuals to redeem the prizes.
A reader, Mr Zhong, 48, told Lianhe Wanbao that the salesmen peddled housewares and would distribute flyers telling members of the public that they had free products to give out.
Mr Zhong said: "When people try to claim the prizes, the salesmen will tell them to pay $99. This is just unethical."
Reporters visited the site on Sunday (Oct 29) and found a crowd of around 40 people, the majority of them in their 60s, gathered around a stall near an entrance to the Chinatown MRT Station.
A salesman was demonstrating to the audience how to use a slew of household products, ranging from an electronic shaver to a knife.
As he was demonstrating each product, the salesman would emphasise that he had 10 gift hampers to be given out to individuals with ‘genuine’ interest.
After the demonstrations ended, the salesman shouted to the crowd: "Who wants a hamper?"
The reporters observed many people raising their hands.
However, just as these individuals were about to collect their ‘freebies’ the salesman suddenly told them: "Uncles and aunties, these products are worth $400.
"Today I won't charge you $300, or even $200. For just $99, you can bring all these products home."
At this point, many of people lowered their hands.
The individuals who kept their hands raised then proceeded to pay for their hampers and left.
After the crowd dispersed, a reporter went up to the salesman and asked him why he had said the items were free, only to ask customers to pay later.
The salesman did not reply straight away, but said after a while: "They don’t have to pay if they’re unwilling. We don’t force them to."