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Huawei slammed by consumer watchdog after thousands disappointed by $54 National Day promo

Even Mountbatten MP Lim Biow Chuan personally received the advertisement and had initially thought it was a good deal.

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Singapore—Huawei is receiving a lot of flak from its misguided promotion last weekend, wherein the Chinese tech giant advertised the sale of one of its phones for just $54, and limited stocks sent many consumers away angry and disappointed.

Older consumers, we might add, since the marketing scheme was aimed at people over the age of 50.

The phone manufacturer was completely unprepared for the droves of people who turned up to avail of the  S$54 Y6 Pro smartphone, heavily discounted from $198 to $54, a National Day offer, to commemorate Singapore’s upcoming 54th birthday.

In some malls, the crowds got so heavy that the police had to be called in. Several Huawei outlets closed down before noon on July 26 due to “safety and security reasons.” Huawei later explained that while some outlets had a considerable number of the phones in stock, other outlets, especially in the heartlands, had only a few pieces in stock.

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The scheme, which was supposed to last for three days, saw some stores running out of phones in under record time, much to the disappointment of people who had lined up for hours to buy the discounted phone.

Huawei immediately apologized via its Facebook page, issuing a post that read, “We are sorry. Our outlets are oversubscribed. Please refrain from joining the queues further as stores are likely to sell-out fast.”

We are sorry. Our outlets are oversubscribed. Please refrain from joining the queues further as stores are likely to…

Posted by Huawei Mobile on Thursday, July 25, 2019

On July 30, vowing to make things right, phone manufacturer offered a $100 smartphone voucher to almost  5,000 registered customers who had shown interest at its stores.

However, some consumers are still unhappy with Huawei’s marketing stunt, including the president of the country’s consumer watchdog group, the Consumers Association of Singapore (CASE), who demanded in a Facebook post that the company be reprimanded for its National Day promo advertisement.

Lim Biow Chuan had personally received the advertisement and had initially thought it was a good deal.

Like many other consumers, I received the advertisement inviting me to buy the Huawei Y6 Pro for just $54!! I thought it…

Posted by Lim Biow Chuan on Monday, July 29, 2019

“Like many other consumers, I received the advertisement inviting me to buy the Huawei Y6 Pro for just $54!! I thought it was a good deal until I read about the huge unhappiness and frustration caused at the stores when consumers were unable to buy the Huawei Y6 Pro phone at the discounted prize.”

He then explained why he believes that what Huawei did is a breach of the CPFTA.

“To me, the Huawei advertisement is a breach of the Consumer Protection Fair Trading Act (CPFTA). Huawei should not have advertised to so many consumers about their sale of the phones at a huge discounted price when they only have limited stock in their stores. I think that such advertisement is misleading and has caused much inconvenience to many consumers. Public resources have also been wasted due to the police being called to manage the crowds.”

Mr Lim also said why he thought Huawei should be publicly reprimanded for the marketing scheme that went sideways.

“I hope that the Competition and Consumer Commission of Singapore will issue a public reprimand of the company for breach of the CPFTA. I also hope that Huawei will take appropriate action to make amends to win back public support and goodwill for their company. Otherwise, consumers in Singapore will always remember this incident with distaste and disappointment in the phone and technology giant.”/ TISG

Read related: After Huawei S$54 phone fiasco, stores open on July 27 and S’poreans still try their luck

After Huawei S$54 phone fiasco, stores open on July 27 and S’poreans still try their luck

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