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grumpypeep

Horrible Experience With Interior Factory (Scam)

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Dear Readers,

I am writing this post to alert everyone on the questionable business practice of an Interior Design/ Contractor named Interior Factory Pte Ltd.

The registered director is called Alloysius xxx, and the interior designer for our project is Xavier xxx.

 

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We got the keys to our BTO early this year. Just like other couples, we were exited to have a place of our own but at the same time, we were also nervous about choosing the right interior design firm that fits into our concept and budget. We settled on the above mentioned company after talking to several other IDs. It turned out to be a bad decision and the start of our ordeal.
 
Long story short, we paid 95% (in accordance with the contract) what came up to be $31,000. A reasonable time frame for completion would be 1-1.5 months but 4 months into the project, many areas of the house like the Quartz kitchen top, window grills, shower screen and some other miscellaneous items are still missing. At this point, both the boss Alloysius and the designer Xavier were unreachable. Even on the odd occasion when Xavier picked up the call from a number other than mine, he sheds all responsibility on this issue, claiming the boss has taken all the money and gambled them away. To compound matter, their workers damaged the timber flooring on all 3 of the bedrooms. The dents are obvious and irreversible. Engaging another contractor to varnish them cost us another sum, on top of the amount to complete the unfinished work.
 
On Interior Factory, Alloysius and Xavier
 
-The address on the agreement is a home address rented by Alloysius. The problem is, he no longer lives there. Going down to this place, the other tenants told us he hasn't been living them for some time already.
 
-If the above is true, then there's a conflict with the registered address on his NRIC. The address on his NRIC is the same as the address on the agreement. But if he doesn't live there and didn't update his current place of residence, doesn't that constitute to an offence under the Singapore law and penal code? This is all the more jarring as he intentionally conceals his real place of residence as an escape to con people of their hard-earned money.
 
-From our understanding and talking to other contractors, he also owes other contractors and sub-contractors for the work they have done for him. While some have tracked him down and he promised to return them the money on a said date, he has never deliver and has been on the run since.
 
-Xavier, while obliging and extremely friendly initially, started becoming less responsive and eventually uncontactable as the project drags on. Simple requests like rendering the color of cabinets, showing perspective from different angles all didn't get done. He even got the paint color of our walls wrong! He has already failed us on so many instances, building up empty promises like finishing this aspect of the renovation by a particular date etc. When confronted, he displayed an air of arrogance and proceeded to say there is no point looking for him.
 
On hindsight, we should have:
 
- Dictate our own payment terms. Some companies will point the industry practice of A% deposit, B% upon commencement of project and C% when blah blah blah is up. The point is, make progressive payment only when work is done, not when you assume the work will be completed. This way, if they run into cash flow problem (which is common) or any other issues, you minimize the damage and don't end up losing too much money. If they don't adhere to your request, take the business elsewhere. There are tons of companies out there.
 
- Meet the boss of the company. Have a conversation with him at his office, not some other places like McDonald's. Be weary if he insists on meeting outside.
 
***
 
At the end of the day, despite all this unfortunate happenings, we also have to hold our hands and admit that our inexperience. We were too trusting and too big-headed to accept advises. While I struggled to recount the experience, I believe it's our duty to highlight this case and bring it to the attention of readers here. It's been a rocky journey in building our first home, but it's even more depressing knowing that the law can't bring shady businesses like this to justice. CASE and SCT have limited power to act against matters like this. If we were to engage a civil suit against them, they could declare bankrupt and shut the business. Because these scumbags will continue to act in their own interests, it's best to know who are the black rats, avoid them and warn people you know about their questionable ethics.

 

 

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There were many ID firms and/or Contractors out there. It would be most helpful for you to shed light to why they were selected and where did you identify them for the service they are able to provide since it seems they are so slithery :)

 

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