Someone wrote in his Facebook about a business tactics which he strongly suspect is a scam.
In his post, he described how an organization conducts talks to persuade audiences (including his grandma) to buy their expensive electric chair that cost a whopping S$26,000 and even claimed “..can potentially cure any diseases like stroke, diabetes, arthritis and even cancer..” !!!
It was after countless efforts did the complainant able to convince his grandma not to be “brainwashed” by the sales person..
Complainant would like warn everyone about such practices and hope everyone will be aware of it.
*Note: All opinions belong to the author of the said post, and does not represent the views of Complaint Singapore. Identities of all parties are masked for privacy purposes etc.
The full text extract of the original Facebook post below:
Just want to share a “legal scam” case which targets old people’s savings. I am usually calm and open minded but these businesses greatly affected my illiterate grandma and people around her. Do note that this is solely my opinion about how the business works.
She was told by her neighborhood friends about this magical device that can potentially cure any diseases like stroke, diabetes, arthritis and even cancer. At first I didn’t think much as I thought it’s just a few hundred dollars product when she mentioned “electric chair (电椅)”. Until I learned that it was not $100, not $1000 but $26,000 SGD, for the most basic model. The worse case is that the salesperson gave her the idea that this is a family heirloom (they keep repeating the word 传家之宝 to her) that can be passed down for generations, till she thought of buying one for me and my aunts next when she herself couldn’t even afford one at the moment, she felt that it could save lives. I then also understood that she had some money with the bank and was able to retrieve them in 2 months time. So I was very worried and decided to find ways to help her before she spend the money and regret. I promised to go with her and listen to what they have to say without interrupting her first. After a long talk below was what I learned.
She had visited the Bedok branch for 3 months on a daily basis without fail, the way they sell is by psychological ways which I’ve luckily been interested in the past and did some self studies on this topic. They would first tell you that it’s free of charge and you can come daily for as long as you like “forever”. Many senior citizens and sick people flock there to queue for the free sessions. During the sessions she saw a lot of photo claims about illness being cured by the machine – cancer, stroke, diabetes, joint issues and even skin burns. During the sessions she would also hear positive feedback from people beside her about how their illnesses were healed after using their products and such.
Nevertheless, good things doesn’t last long, after using for a month they then start telling her more about the product and the models available, and how convenient it was when some of their customers bought the machine at home. At this point of time they won’t talk about the price of the products, but just go round and round. Then they start talking about personal life story like expensive rental fees and the history of their boss who has good hearted intention, that’s why the visits are free.
Second month onwards, they told her that they had to close the shop soon. The reason is because they are going to finish selling off the chairs, they also wanted to open a new one in other areas due to increasing rental cost, as well as helping people who haven’t got to try. And then when asked more about the chairs that was selling like hot cakes, here comes the price tag, $26,000 for the basic and $36,000 for the premium one. You might think that normal people would find it expensive, but they then start saying about pharma crap and that government want people to spend money by making them waste on medicines and surgeries that doesn’t help. More medicines = more new illness they say.
So what’s $26,000 now when so many people spent hundreds of thousands on cancer treatment that won’t eliminate problems completely? Now it suddenly becomes worth it, cause it’s $26k with complete cure versus $100k surgery without cure. At this point of time they would then apply psychological techniques from other “positive claims” to make the seniors feel that they are better, they would say things like if you feel sleepy it means that the machine is working, they would also tell her that she seems to look healthier etc. Then one day they started asking my grandma to reduce her medications, which eventually led to her stop the knee cap surgery that was supposed to be done in mid June. She kept repeating that the machine will cure her in time so there’s no need for any surgery, she said that her “friend” even stopped diabetes medicine for a few years on this machine. This led to me considering the possibilities that the company hired fake actors to claim that they had been cured, to convince the seniors “there, they have human evidence”.
Third month in, the salesperson says that because the sales were very good, there are left with only 4 sets, and because they are already moving, they want to let go remaining sets at a discounted price. Only $17,000 now! My grandma said that she didn’t have this money yet, but they said it’s ok and ask her to just place downpayment, only $2,000 to save lives and lots of money.
At this point of time she also asked an innocent question about not buying and going to whichever outlets they open next, now instead of welcoming her, the salesperson said that it’s not nice to do that because the commission could be given to the another salesperson from other outlets if she started buying one day, they started to make themselves sound like poor honest salesman. Do remember that from third party perspective it may seem clear, but for those poor seniors that had been brainwashed for 3 months, they probably won’t even believe if you said they lie. In addition, the salesperson also claimed that today was the last day. My grandma then made the payment right away.
Because my parents and aunts are straightforward people that are caring yet emotional, they got angry so they either told her not to buy or don’t put it at home, they had good intentions but didn’t know how to go around it. This caused her to be so frustrated that she asked if she could put it at my place temporarily, I said ok to make her feel better. This led to another issue, my aunt found out that she made $2k down payment and decided to ask the shop to refund her, and through this I also found out that today was not the last day, there’s actually 5 more days to go. So what does this mean? Probably they could sense her urgency so they tricked her. Right after the refund incident, the salesperson called my grandma and asked if she still needed the set, she replied that her daughter said no and wanted more time to prepare money, in which the salesperson then said she was lucky because they intended to extend the closing day.
Now my grandma was very sad and started quarreling with my aunt, which eventually led her to calling my other aunts and my parents, and they all were in a mess just because of this machine, she even teared up multiple times saying that her children don’t understand her good intentions. My grandma does have history of depression and weak heart so she could get very emotional out of a sudden. Now she even said to me that she don’t have any face to go and do the therapy again. My wife and I then managed to convince her to go to another branch, we told her that we also wanted to try for ourselves, it took her awhile to brighten up her face again, it was very sad but we had to endure. During the trip she kept repeating the 传家之宝 phrase, I know she learned this from the salesperson as she is not good in chinese to come up with such words.
I went to the session and straightaway I saw cctvs around the place and lots of posters saying no video/no sound recording, so scared of people sharing what they said? We queued and waited outside while the current batch undergo treatment together with lip service. We were waiting quietly and I started looking around, a middle aged lady seemed to be moving her head around, perhaps looking for someone to fish I supposed? Out of nowhere, she started to talk to my grandma saying that her leg cured completely without medication just after 3 attempts. Yeah, really fishy.
Once entered, we were forced to sit on the front as we were new comers, probably to direct the priority attention to us as well as check if we were filming and such. There were about 30 people sitted at that point of time, and they would have a board saying how many regulars and how many newcomers were there. Seems like they intentionally wanted you to feel that they are popular.
We sat down, the salesperson then came with a plastic file and asked me to touch it, when touched I would feel some vibration, when the machine was off the vibration stopped. This meant that there were some static coming out of the machine, although I did not understand what it had to do with healing lol. Once the salesperson started talking all the gibberish crap came out, he talked about breast cancer and that if wives get cancer it’s not the fault if their husbands went to find other girls, so it’s best to prevent it in the first place. Honestly this was one of the worse presentation that I had ever heard. After 30 minutes of nonsense, he then came over to the newcomer which was me, then he talked about the human body using electrons and how our body is like battery, need to recharge… So the machine is used to recharge our body! So how does the recharge help to cure illness? He don’t know. Then I asked, what does breast cancer have to do with electrons? He don’t know. Then I asked, so this machine can cure all diseases? He paused for a moment and said yes, I ask even breast cancer? He said yes many people with cancer used the machine and was cured. I asked again, so this machine is the cure to cancer and illnesses? He said yes again. That’s weird, because I read up on this company and HSA has even said that this product cannot be used to cure or target any illnesses. They even had one of this small note among their walls of multiple bullshit saying that this product is not meant to cure. Probably due to HSA’s requirement. So what have these people been telling them? Almost forgot to mention that whenever they brag about stuff like how many people they had cured and how many regular customers they got, they would make you clap by making some “yay” sound with claps and asking you to clap along. It’s very cheesy but works for the elderly. During the session they would also keep repeating the “free” word, I think within one session the guy mentioned no less than 20 times.
After going home, I finally persuaded my grandma while using some reverse psychology telling her that it’s ok to buy and I just wanted to share my opinions. After waking up from the brainwashing, she was a little angry of herself for causing harm to people around her. This would require more time to ensure that her emotions will be stable but at least we removed the critical issue first.
I hope people will start being concern about their parents and ensure that they don’t get cheated of their life savings. The reason this business is legal because they are licensed with a product to sell, how much it’s sold for cannot be controlled as the product is not even known to science as a legit device. I’ve even seen the same product being sold for $5k so I am highly suspicious that the cost price is actually much lower than what it’s sold for. Brainwashing may have been around for hundreds of years but the techniques are being improvised regularly to make them harder to notice, especially for desperate seniors that are looking for fast cure. Do not quarrel with the victims as they had been treated very well by those salesperson, doing so would only cause them to doubt you even more. Go and look for professional help if you have trouble communicating. Do pm me if you also encountered such cases and I will be glad to help.
Below are some immediate comments and some exchanges with someone believed to be “siding” (or working for) with the mentioned company who conducted the talks..
The heated comments exchanges eventually led to mentioning of some prominent figures in Singapore businesses.. and even challenges from various parties etc..