Has Jover Chew started anew?
Selling his stuff before his lease is due?
He’s still in hiding, is Jover Chew
Under the radar, this cuckoo flew
A man named Ricky has picked up his slack
Running the shop amid much flak
Oh what teeth our laws doth lack
To deal with a man like Jover Chew
Go look at Mobile Air’s Facebook page. Yes, it has one. Whether it is Jover Chew’s real account or a spoof, I don’t know. But, man oh man, the people commenting on the page are really angry. Either Mr Chew is insane and waiting to be chewed up – or someone is being a Joker for Jover…
Besides that entertaining FB page, the news is that another company has taken over Mobile Air’s premises in Sim Lim, calling itself HJ Mobile. It has started selling. At least, it calls itself a company even though it is not registered with ACRA – which lawyers TNP spoke to say makes the owner eligible for up to a year’s jail and a maximum of $5,000. Yup, you can’t sell stuff without getting your company registered, Mr Ricky Lee.
And who is this Mr Lee? He’s 33 and used to work for Mr Chew. He later worked for four months in JW World, another Sim Lim shop, last year. He heard that Mr Chew was selling his business and got it at “below market price’’. How much, he wouldn’t say. He declares that Mr Chew is not linked to the business. Well, we wouldn’t know, as the company isn’t even registered. I wonder if Mr Lee is reading about how he can be jailed and fined – and whether he is doing business today. I wonder also whether ACRA will allow him to register the business or at least make it painful…Hey, ACRA, there’s about a year’s lease left on the outlet…Maybe you guys should hold out till then?
TNP has the best coverage of the resurrection of Mobile Air as HJ Mobile although it didn’t find out what HJ stands for…High Jinks? Hero Jover? Huge Joke? ItReporters saw the same people who manned Mobile Air at the shop. They said they were doing inventory work. I must say the salespeople are either foolhardily brave or shamelessly brazen. You would have thought they joined their ex-boss in hiding.
What’s clear is that Mobile Air’s antics have affected the first and second floor retailers in Sim Lim, with some of them moaning to ST that they don’t even see a single customer all day. Looks like even tourists know enough to stay away. Mr Lee said he would sell his products at a discount or export them to Vietnam and Thailand.
Maybe I am too unkind to Mr Lee. Maybe he really wants to make good, will rein in his staff and be an ethical businessman. Maybe he’s simply trying to help his ex-boss. (I am trying very hard to keep a straight face).
What does CASE say to all this? While Mobile Air is “live’’, it can be served an injunction that will stop it from unfair practices. It’s a wonder that Mr Chew hasn’t started winding down his company yet. It doesn’t take long. Then CASE’s Seah Seng Choon proceeds to lament that this is the “challenge’’ it faces with errant retailers who can simply wind up and re-start. It makes you ask: Shouldn’t CASE be lobbying for some changes on this front – or is this what the G is talking about when it refers to coming changes to punish errant retailers.
As for that impending injunction which surfaced after Mobile Air refused to sign that badly named Voluntary Compliance Act, it seems it will take a long time in coming, long enough for Mr Chew to do the needful to save his skin. There’s a bit more information on this “injunction’’ which was published in TODAY. It said 22 businesses have been served the VCAs over the last decade. Of these, 17 have complied (that is, we agree to be good ) but the remaining five had injunctions served successfully against them after they declined to sign. Isn’t it time for CASE to tell us a bit more about the five and how the injunction works? That would be useful consumer education.
By the way, CASE wants two retailers, Tele Infinity and Mobile Alliance, in People’s Park to sign the VCA too. Seems the People’s Park people are even more gangsterish than those in Sim Lim, with 146 complaints against Sim Lim’s 103. I wonder what the two retailers have been up to? Making customers kneel for refunds or giving refunds in coins?
Oh! There’s something happening on the coin front. The G said it’s reviewing the legal tender laws which allow people to pay any sum in $1 coins. This means you can turn down coins if the sum exceeds a certain limit. It said so in ST Forum Page. Well, looks like at least that ONE thing can be fixed fast…