Air-con technician gets $3k deposit, but repeatedly fails to show up as he's 'very busy and has no time'

The New Paper
Oct 16, 2023

She forked out over $3,000 as a deposit for an air-conditioner system in her new flat, but her technician never installed it, delaying her move-in date by four months.

The woman, surnamed Chen, told Shin Min Daily News that her interior designer had recommended the air-con technician to her.

In March 2022, she paid half of the deposit for the wiring of the air-con system. A month later, she was asked to pay an additional 20 per cent of the deposit to "reserve" the system. It is not clear exactly what this meant. 

Three months later, the technician made four appointments with Chen to install the air-conditioner system but never once showed up to her Tampines flat, she said.

Each time he failed to turn up, the technician promised compensation, according to text messages seen by Shin Min. 

Chen then contacted the air-conditioner supplier and discovered the technician had not placed an order at all.

She sought legal recourse against the technician's company, S Cool Aircon Pte Ltd, through the Small Claims Tribunal.

Eventually, another technician stepped in and had to redo the air-con system's wiring in her flat, as the previous one did not do it properly, said Chen.

Chen and her 80-year-old mother moved into their new home in December, four months later than planned.

"I didn't dare let my mother know about this, out of fear that it would make her upset," Chen said.

Chen's interior designer told Shin Min that he had worked with the air-con technician for over three years. However, he terminated their working relationship last year after receiving negative feedback on him.

"He did a good job in the past… I don't know why the situation suddenly became like this,” he said.

"I asked him for an explanation and he only said he was very busy and had no time to install the air-conditioner."

The Consumers Association of Singapore (Case) told Shin Min that it received eight complaints against the air-conditioning company as of October 2023.

Case said customers reported that the company would delay installation of air-con units after receiving payment. Customers were also unable to get refunds.

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