Sim Lim Square Shop Cheats & Hits Customer

Read also: Sim Lim Episode Follow Up

In a nutshell…please do not go to Sim Lim. I almost got cheated out of $515 today. I cried, called the police, and argued for 3 hours and by 9pm received full refund. Do not go to iGadget on 1st floor. Tomorrow I am going to the subordinate court to sue the iGadget staff who threw a calculator at my ankle.

You would not believe what happened to me. Some days in Singapore feel like emotional torture to me. I just cannot believe what people would do for money.

I’ve had so much emotional stress today that I’ll just keep this short:

1. I went to Sim Lim Square to inquire about unlocking my phone. I told the staff at iGadget that I upgraded my phone so that’s why my sim card bought by my dad wouldn’t work. I asked them if they had an upgraded micro sim for unlocking my iPhone.

2. The two salesmen at iGadget, Edward Lim and Eddy Wong, said yes. Unlock sim is $80 and they would give it to me for $60. I agreed.

3. I asked around other shops while they were unlocking. Other shops were asking for $50-80 as well. So I thought it was the market price.

4. After they unlocked it, I asked if it had been jailbroken. The white T-shirt guy named Eddy Wong said that you can’t jailbreak with a sim card (well Youtube said you can?). Eddy said that jailbreak is trickier because it’s a US phone. I just wanted to get it over with it and said okay, how much is jailbreak. Eddy answered, “$60.” I asked, “How about $100 for unlock and jailbreak. He bit his lips, slanted his head, and agreed. Whoa wasn’t I good at bargaining?

5. Hours later, I came back. Eddy and Edward said my iPhone had been unlocked and jailbroken successfully. According to them, the two Gevey sim cards my dad sent me had been spoiled, and therefore they replaced it with another one. I nodded. They asked me if I wanted to pay by card or cash. I handed them my Mastercard.

6. Minutes later, they swiped the card and told me to sign the receipt. I signed my name on the receipt, then IMMEDIATELY crossed out my signature when I saw the staggering number: $515.

I thought it was a typo. I was like, WHAT? $515? It was supposed to be $100!

The Ed brothers (Eddy and Edward) smiled maliciously and explained to me, “$100 was only software. Your original turbo sim was spoiled. So we had to replace it. So that was another $!#$#. Then the other thing would cost another $@#$#. So everything would be $515.”

I felt as if I had been struck by lightening.

I tried to reason at first; then I realized reasoning would not work with this kinda scum. I grew so emotional and intense that I started yelling, cursing, and shouting about how I JUST GOT CHEATED!! that the entire floor of Sim Lim Square could hear me. Everyone started gathering around the store to see what was going on. I knew I was making a whole scene, but I didn’t care. I pleaded: SOMEONE CALL THE POLICE (I didn’t even have a phone then)! Finally the security guard called the police and told me to wait.

As I was yelling, the white t-shirt scum Eddy threw a calculator at my ankle and it smashed against my ankle. The bruises left me slightly crippled afterwards.

Bruise on my ankle

iGadget staff's chef-d'oeuvre, thanks to his special instrument. From there our nerdy calculator became a martyr : (

Scrambling to the information counter, I dialed OCBC credit card hotline right away and reported that someone just stole my credit card and swiped off $515! Yet I was told that I could only cancel the transaction once it’d be processed, which would mean 7 days of waiting. Then I would have to show them the police report with the stated value of the transaction.

The police – one senior sergeant accompanied by a 20-year-old serving National Service – arrived finally. The two scums started firing their sophistry and rendering the whole thing like some sorta misunderstanding between us. They kept focusing on the software updates and the material they used. I said, “The price is not the issue here. I was MISINFORMED of the price. NO ONE TOLD ME it’d be $515. It was agreed upon that it’d add up to $100.”

The scums said they could give me a discount and make it $395. I got all explosive again and said, “I am NOT paying a single PENNY more than $100!”

In the end, the shop owner came and said they would only charge $100, but….I could not keep the Micro Sim. What did that mean? Without the Sim I could not unlock my phone! It was as if I were giving out free money to thieves. Lo and behold, my iPhone remains an iTouch.

The police pulled me aside and reasoned that the shop owner is taking a step back, and I should take a step back, too. He agreed that $515 seemed like a lot for that little sim card. “The shop owner, however, is not going to let you take it unless you pay that amount.”

“Can you please talk to him again?” I implored.

A veteran in sophistry, the iGadget shop owner, whose name I don’t recall, explained, “Yeah the thing your dad bought doesn’t work because it’s cheap. A lot of things in China are cheap and they don’t work. Ours cost more money but they work.”

I refuted him, “I bet your sim is *also* made in China. ALL iPhone are made in China.” It was certainly not my first time hearing salesmen in Singapore raise the perceived value or quality of the products they’re offering by disclaiming the origin of their manufacturer – China.

Cornered to a cul-de-sac by the iGadget men, I had no choice but to compromise. Meanwhile, I told each of them that my dad’s lawyer from the US would pursue the matter. I made sure to get their name card.

I also demanded, “You have to apologize too.” Agitated at my “unreasonable” request, the shop owner declared, “I already apologized and I will educate my staff. But you can’t go overboard!”

Overboard? I did not even deserve a decent apology for their deceiving and cheating foreign customers? It wouldn’t be sincere coming out of their mouth, but I still wanted to hear it.

I shot a look at Eddy and Edward and said, “*THEY* have not apologized to me.” At last, the two scums groaned “Sorry” in a whiny, ultra-impatient tone. A sign of progress in humanity?

After they refunded me $515 and made another transaction of $100, the shop owner left and let the rest settle the matter.

Surprisingly, my credit card was declined. I guess it was because of the phone call I made to OCBC credit card hotline earlier on for reporting illegitimate use of my credit card.

iGadget staff asked me if I had cash. I said no. Indeed, I had NETS but I didn’t want to use it to avoid instant debit of my account balance – that’s a handy tip that all consumers should keep in mind. Remember, as the paying party, we are vulnerable.

It was imperative for me to call the OCBC bank again to activate it. In absence of a phone that worked, I borrowed theirs and the call wouldn’t go through.

Edward finally yielded and said, “Just leave. I’ll pay for you. Give me back my name card too.” Great that was unexpected. I gave him back his name card. Nevertheless, I will never forget their faces and their full names: Edward Lim and Eddy Wong from iGadget on first floor in Sim Lim Square. This is a warning: do NOT go to them. Do NOT go to Sim Lim for any sort of service if you can avoid it. Consumer protection law is nonexistent over there, which means traps and tragedies run rampant.

Anyhow, I suppose Edward either 1) discovered his conscience at last minute 2) or scared at the charges I claimed to press at him and others for their misconduct and misleading sales tactics. Seriously, how were they any more different than thieves for charging me $515 when the agreed-upon price was $100? If you go to a restaurant and order a dish that’s priced at $10, and you receive a $100 bill in the end, how would you feel?

When I exited the store, the Edward guy yelled at me, “Crazy woman. Go see a doctor.” I shouted back and said, “My dad is a doctor. And the other guy threw an instrument at me. I will sue him.” Could anyone tolerate or condone physical violence to customers?

The police accompanied me outside and asked, “Do you still want to pursue it?”

I was a bit hesitant (after all, I got a full refund, totally unexpected), “I’m not sure…”

The police seemed shocked at my wishy-washy answer. “WHAT?! You’re not sure?!”

I thought for a second and confirmed, “Yes I want to pursue the matter, just to let that guy know the consequence of USING VIOLENCE to a customer.”

The police called the investigator to file the complaint. It was filed under criminal offence and I would have to go to the Magistrate Court tomorrow and tell the whole story again and let them decide.

The violent Eddy guy who hit me defended himself, “I threw the calculator at her foot. I didn’t aim it at her ankle. If I wanted to hit you I would’ve thrown it in your face.”

Is he getting out of this? No way. If he had repented with sincerity, I most likely would’ve let it go. Yet when you commit a crime and you don’t feel the slightest guilt, you probably should get educated and reformed.

In my leisure, I will share my experiences at iGadget, Sim Lim Square on every forum and blog available!

I try to avoid dishonest and calculative sleazebags but I just can’t! I still keep running into them! My whole Sunday has been ruined.

My Singaporean friends and colleagues have warned me that Sim Lim salesmen are very sleazy and try to add service charges. I was not aware they would actually impose service charges WITHOUT INFORMING ME. I didn’t know they would CHEAT me. Misrepresentation is a serious crime.

The police even agreed, “A couple hundred of dollars does sound like a lot for that little sim…”

I asked, “Have you dealt with this case before?”

The police replied, “Actually this is very common in Sim Lim.”

VERY COMMON?! There’s no Consumer Protection Law in Singapore? Who’s there to redress consumer grievances? I had to stand up for myself and I wasn’t even sure if I were handling the situation properly by losing my composure and balance. What about the ones forced to swallow their misfortune?

You’re not allowed access to chewing gum and not allowed to bring durian to MRT and forbidden to do so many things, and yet – it is legitimate and acceptable to DEFRAUD customers?

Fortunately, I had brought my US passport with me since I just went to JB yesterday. The police popped out a question out of nowhere, “Do your parents know anyone in the American government?”

Bewildered and unsure of why he posed such a question, I tried to keep my answer ambivalent, “My dad’s a doctor and my mom’s an accountant. My guess is that they probably don’t know anyone, but I’m not entirely sure. I’d have to double-check with them.”

He replied, “Okay. If they knew anyone there this would be a bit more complicated.”

Well, it was a grave offence. The issue at stake was not the degree of injury inflicted upon me but rather his violent gesture that could’ve led to severe ramifications.

The whole thing is upsetting and still leaves me in a state of stupor, shock, and disgust.

I bet that shop did not expect that I would make such an earth shattering spectacle in Sim Lim Square. For someone who’s highly conflict-averse, I’d been seriously provoked to the point my mind grew numb. I wonder if I should’ve treated the matter more calmly, but sometimes it is so incredibly hard to control yourself when forced to confront INJUSTICE!

One disappointing byproduct of the unpleasant incident was the crowd’s apathetic response. Although the security guards showed sympathy for me, everyone else was merely a spectator. Instead of lending a hand or a voice, many were grinning, mocking at my despair and tears. They found entertainment and comfort in my comical acts and shouts. I was the clown of the day at Sim Lim.

To me, indifference (apathy) is the cruelest response ever in the world. I did not sign up to audition for the circus. The scums provoked me to hysteria and tears!!

I suddenly recall my trip to Toronto last September where I witnessed a 40-year-old Asian lady stripping in front of everyone and setting fire on her own clothes. She must’ve been terribly provoked! Yet like many others, I was merely a spectator finding it a “unique and bizarre encounter” in Toronto!

In most cases people don’t help or can’t help OR don’t help and can’t help, and that leaves you alone in the world.

My right ankle, the spot where that dude hit me with the calculator, actually hurts now.

Sim Lim ShopI am never ever stepping a foot inside Sim Lim Square ever again, not even if I were sandwiched between two giant bodyguards. It’s not the place for the tame.

As for those who care or wish not to be scared, please find their store info to the right. If you crave challenges or curious to find out yourself, go ahead and see if you can get out of the shop without wreaking havoc on your own emotional well-being. Do not repeat my mistake, and don’t tell me that I didn’t warn you.

************AVOID SIM LIM SCAM AT ALL COST!**********

I got lucky, and I got refunded in the most unexpected way. IF you’re already a victim and didn’t get so lucky, spread the word and let’s tear down all the dishonest shops. Go to if it’s any help.

What Other Victims Are Saying:

About ilovegettinglost

Posted on July 10, 2011, in Complaint, Singapore and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 52 Comments.

  1. Well, dew dew…

    if the SGD is anything in value like the U.S. dollar, then yeah, I would be absolutely bat-shit angry if someone told me $100 is OK and then snuck in some B.S. Charges totaling $515.

    I bought my iPhone used, second-hand, for $150 USD including the jailbreak. That just goes to show that some people are out for nothing but ripping people off.

  2. unlocked too? yours?

  3. Alberto Gutierrez

    Sorry to hear about your ordeal, how is your iphone now? is it in working condition?
    People like that do need to be dealt with, good you didnt let the matter go cause until someone comes along to make them regret for being the bottom of the society they would never change and who knows others will read your experience and will take action against them or other people like that.
    I hope you are going well and keep some ice on that ankle
    Talk to you later dew dew 🙂

    • Only works with free wifi.

      I still need to unlock it. I found a site online that does sell the sim for my version and baseband for $30usd including shipping. Sim Lim scum tried to sell it for 10 times more lol.

      But I’m a bit hesitant. Should I just grab that sim? Hope it works.

  4. jailbreaking is unlocking, so yeah.

    • jailbreaking is not unlocking. they’re two separate matters my dear. from your response i surmise that yours were originally unlocked when you received it.

  5. Post Services

    I have forwarded the story to Hope you will get the recourse you needed. Here it is:

  6. You’re right. Sim Lim is plagued with scum these days.

    It isn’t untrue that you can get a good deal at Sim Lim; it’s just that the place is, well, polarized. It’s like a 50-50 split between criminals, and solid businessmen. Overall, it’s not a good idea to go to any Sim Lim shop unless a trusted friend introduces you to it.

    I notice that, in general, the hardware shops on the 4th floor and up *tend* to be more trustworthy. Particularly the ones that look messy, with parts all over the place. Don’t know why.

    Anyway, sorry to hear it. 😦

    • Yea that’s why before the incident I’d been to Sim Lim several times already. I used to buy mainly computer accessories at level 4 or 5 and didn’t experience any problem.

      Somehow this time I was on drug or hypnotized that I opted for 1st floor. Now with that bad, bad experience, I don’t even want to go to level 4 or 5 anymore. I’ll just go to other places like Mustafa.

      50/50…that’s a high ratio of criminals!

      Thanks for commenting!

  7. Hi,

    Im so sorry to hear about your terrible experience at Sim Lim Sq. You may want to check up CASE ( to see if you could relate your experience to them. Of course financially you didn’t lose out, but I don’t believe I would walk away with the physical injury in silence. This needs justice.

    See how/ what CASE may be able to help you.



    Beware of “RESEALED” products, mainly iPhone and iPads.
    Don’t believe me?
    Go to an apple store and check the touch of the plastic as well as the lining of the end wrap, then compare it to the ones in sim lim square.. i found about at least 80% of the sealed iphones were resealed. the linings are different, the plastic material is different.
    I’m sorry for you about that incident.

    • Yea now I know that you get what you pay for.

      Well you still don’t get what you pay for at sim lim.

      You pay for what you don’t get at sim lim lol.

  9. Hi Dew,

    I tried this person’s service at Sim Lim 2 months back when a new colleague from the USA came to Singapore and require to unlock her AT&T Iphone 4.

    Hope you resolved your problems.


  10. I got the same experience and rude treatment at the second floor while inquiring for an iphone 4 16gb. I was quoted SD$720 for the unit and told to wait for 15 mins as the guy at the counter will process the unlocking, international warranty, sim card configuration etc. While waiting for the ‘processing’ i was asked to pay using my credit card. After minutes of waiting, the ‘processing’ was done and i was asked to pay an additional SD$744! I insisted that I will not be paying the extra amount since it was not properly explained to me that the added services have corresponding charges! There were arguments and to avoid further discussions, I left the store as I only have 3 hours left for our flight out. This happened last August 2, 2011 at SIM LIM SQUARE. Never will I ever go to place again!

    I called my bank later to void the transaction and still waiting for the reply.

    • Oh my God that is hideous!! I inquired about the price of iPhone too over there a while back and was quoted 720. My friend told me that the FaceTime doesn’t work on hers since she bought it at sim lim. So I changed my mind.

      The bank might need a police report in order to void your transaction.

      If not I’m afraid only the merchant can void it.

    • Where are you from? Germany?

      They do this to tourists who are in a rush!!!

      I don’t understand why Singapore is closing an eye to these rampant ethical disturbing detrimental sales tricks!

  11. well dew im a singaporean and truly sim lim really a bad places to buy item especially 1,2,3 level floors above that is okay but never the less i will go in a group so that when i start to bargain we will all bargain too so that we make sure we get a cheap price
    Do not give up on buying from sim lim juz avoid the floors that are filled with unscrupulous owner well they mostly come from lucky plaza actually

  12. I’ve been to Sim Lim many times – almost got scammed once to buying a 2 year old camera model for 3 times the price, insisting it’s the latest and brand new. Caught the guy red handed when I looked up the net on my phone at the very moment to check the camera’s specs. Let’s say it’s a habit I developed when I shop at Sim Lim. I left the shop quickly.

    The second time was at a PC parts store at LV4 when I needed to buy a new motherboard and CPU. It says on the price list it the mobo+cpu set cost $645 but they say it’s $655 as the $645 set is only for those buying a full computer. Take note that it wasn’t mentioned in their price list flyer. I know $10 is not that high but I can buy myself lunch and dinner with that amount. I said I think about it but never came back as another shop was selling the same set at $640 without any hidden cost.

    While I still do buy my computer parts there, I have to do my research before hand – though I won’t be buying any cameras there.

  13. Of course there’s no consumer protection law in Singapore. With some 75-90% of Singapore businesses controlled directly or indirectly by the Government, hence by the ruling famiLee and their cronies, the highest consumer law is the Gangsta Rule: It’s not your money. You’re merely holding it until the more-Connected owners decide they want it “back”.

    Consumer protection would simply take money out of the pockets of those Connected at the very top, and that is simply not allowed under any circumstance.

    You’re very, VERY lucky to have wound up as well as you did. I doubt if 1% of victims do as well. And foreign passports merely scream “I’ve got lots of money; help yourself!” That’s experience talking; I, too, carried an American passport for far too long here.

    • I know that I was extremely lucky to get out of all the mess! It seems that the more time spent in Singapore, the more facets of the fine city are exposed in unflattering light. Truth is always ugly.

      I wonder if any other victim acted as uncontrollably emotional as I did.

  14. Thanks for sharing your story. If you don’t mind, I intend to share it with others as well. My father-in-law got cheated by one of the shops at Sim Lim Square recently. Long story short, he ended paying SGD2300 for a camera and SGD680 for a spare battery; only to realise that firstly, the camera is worth less than SGD500 and the official receipt doesn’t even mention the extra $680 he paid for the battery, plus, they took his old camera off him, saying it was trade-in.

    It was very stressful for him and his wife, and it was really stressful for my husband and I because we were not in Singapore, and had to try and help him deal with the situation long distance.

    They went to CASE the next morning, and although the lady was very helpful, there was very little she could do. The mediation took place over the phone in the CASE office. During the call, the guys at the shop (I.T. Digital Trading) were very rude to the CASE officer and tried to intimidate her by accusing her of taking a foreigners’ side when she’s Singaporean. She finally managed to mediate a $500 refund (sadly, my father-in-law forgot to mention the $680 he paid for the battery).

    I’m completely disgusted by the whole situation, as a S$500 refund hardly makes up for the total amount he paid, plus the amount of stress and time we had to waste for it. These shops take advantage of the fact that there’s usually little CASE can do, and small claims court takes far too long for tourists. And most victims will walk away and treat it as an expensive lesson. A few other victims have also shared their stories online.

    I want to to collate everyone’s horror stories of shopping in Singapore, and putting it all in one space. Perhaps a concerted effort will help make our experiences more visible, prevent these dishonest shops from claiming anymore innocent victms.

    • Please do share my story and spread it to as many people as you can! I’m terribly sorry for what happened to your father-in-law. Why does Singapore close an eye to this filthy practice is beyond my comprehension. Can we do anything about it?

      Once you have your space set up and horror stories (yep…Halloween soon!) let me know!!

  15. i regret that i didn’t read your blog before i buy my iphone 4s. i also got cheated $400 in igadget on 1 november 2011. never go there if u don’t want to lose ur $$!

  16. helps buyers to identify trustworthy companies from fraudulent ones in Sim Lim Square. Partners listed on have either been in Sim Lim Square for at least 10 years of history, or have been recommended by numerous local and international buyers alike. In addition, these companies are trusted by Consumers Association of Singapore (CASE).

  17. thank you so much for sharing your story… i have changed my mind to visit sim lim square this june

  18. Hi, just wanted to mention, I enjoyed this article. It was funny.
    Keep on posting!

  19. thanks for sharing this story, I just returned from Sim lin where I thought of unlocking my phone but in a final decisive moment was against it. I wanted to search ol for methods to unlock the phone and try it myself. Anyways, how did you end up unlocking your phone?

    • I ordered the Gevey sim card from the original manufacturer Appleberry in Oakland, US. It was expensive – around $50 (well 10 times cheaper than sim lim lol!) Maybe you can find a cheaper option for $20 online?! But at that time that worked for me. My dad first got the Gevey from HK but it was spoiled…so better get a good quality one!

  20. thanks for the reply Dew, I think my phone was similar to yours it was bought in LA and is simlocked thought I did not get it from an official ATT store. Is it ok to discuss about the iphone here or I can leave it here if you think i am side tracking from the original post. I have not been able to use my phone in the last 2-3 days since I am in singapore and desperately looking to get it unlocked.

  21. Lol this isn’t a themed blog and I wouldn’t penalize you for talking about my favorite iPhone. are you a tourist or working here? If you don’t want to order it from afar, maybe try Mustafa, Funan – these are better electronics shops. Just buy the Gevey simcard – but remember that it should be the correct one.

  22. believe it or not I am a student here:) I have been on the internet for so long but hardly is there any info regarding unlocking of iphone or the use of Gevey Sim in Singapore. I have been to the apple store and singtel both of them are pathetic in terms of customer care. They do not know how to talk in the first place and keep repeating the same thing again and again. It was a frustrating experience to say the least. However, do you know if the Gevey sim is available at Mustafa, do you know anyone who bought it from there. If so I can save the shipping time and grab the sim ASAP.

    • You would have to go to Mustafa and check or call them and ask. Even if you buy it from overseas it won’t take too long to reach here. Yea Singtel is a service provider so naturally the staff wouldn’t encourage you to unlock your phOne.

      Why don’t you check Malaysia?

  23. I went to funan centre where I bought the gevey sim which I doubt was fake but it worked for my phone. But I had to listen to the guy say buy this other sim or leave the phone with me for an hour and come back. I told him no several times and I knew how to do it myself. After failing to convince me, he sold the gevey sim for 40$. Finally got to unlock my phone, thanks for the heads up about sim lin square:)

  24. I got cheated at sim lim square. I can’t believe how awful people are. I bought 3 pieces of iphone there and paid SGD3400 in total but when I wanted to collect the phones the salesperson asked to pay SGD1935 more for activation which was never mentioned before. I called police, they came but no help. I am going file a case against the shop. Hope I can get full refund 😦

    • that’s terrible dear. Activation for what – you can’t just turn it on and use it?? THe police here are absolutely useless, indifferent spectators. I’ve first hand experienced that.

      So did you pay 1935? Are you a tourist?

  25. the iphone activation thing nearly happend to me as well. i nearly signed the document and i then i read it very carefully and saw the charges which is not correct and i took back the money which i had already paid for the iphone 4 which i was about to buy. some shops at sim lim are a cheat.

    • You actually had a contract to read. There was never a contract presented to me. You were able to take back your money so that’s good.

  26. Hi Dew Dew!!

    Went to Orchard yesterday to find either a working unlock or a Gevey sim.. They don’t have any Gevey sim, and the unlock is around $200.. :(((

  27. I am a Singaporean and I am ashamed of this place we call SimLim Square and other shitty places with thugs selling gadgets like Ah Longs. (money lenders) . There are other places like these around Singapore like People’s Park selling Handphones too which I recently had the unfortunate experience because of my Domestic helper from Philippines looking for a phone tio take nice pictures to send to her son.
    They told her $200 for the phone and took her cash (part of her salary I just gave the night before) and then they presented her a bill for an additional $365 for warranty.

  28. Thanks for the sharing. I’ve stayed away from it since I heard about this in many forums and blogs. It goes the same for the time being. I really cannot understand why it is being permitted in such a lawful country.

  29. It seems that these scam shops are mostly cellular or mobile related shops and all congregated at the first and second level. I can understand that your intentions is to discredit these shops and inform the public of them; so as no one else will fall prey by them. But there are many shops and retailers who are responsible and honest in Sim Lim Square as well. With everyone calling Sim Lim Square a shitty con place, you are doing injustice to those who are honest in the building. It affects their livelihood as well. I think it is only fair if everyone can focus on the scums shops directly; addressing the shops independently and not “brand” the building itself as a whole generally. It is unfair to the rest of the honest retailers.

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