Beware of Unethical Sales Tactics! – My horrendous experience with Cristelle
I am sure most Singaporean ladies would have went to Far East Plaza to shop for fashion apparels, accessories etc at more affordable prices as compared to branded boutiques in Orchard ION / Takashimaya. This blog post will be about my horrendous experience with Cristelle at Far East Plaza.
It has been quite a long time since I visited Far East Plaza (FEP) to shop for clothing as most of my clothing are purchased by my mom (yes, I know its weird but I can’t be bothered to do the shopping and bargaining).
I have an upcoming company Dinner and Dance at Marina Bay Sands (MBS) and the theme was OSCARS. Hence we were all expected to dress very glamorously like those celebrities who won the Oscars Award.
However as a very pragmatic person who is unwilling to invest a lot on a dress which I will wear only once (or twice at most), I do not find it a need to purchase an evening gown which cost over SGD150 as I am not vying for the Best Dress Award. All I wanted to do is to enjoy my evening with my team-mates and eat good food at MBS.
Hence the first thought was to head down to Far East Plaza to find a presentable gown for that purpose. As I visited a few shops there, I was shocked to see the drastic change in FEP as I realised that many PRCs were being hired to man the shops. Some of their service were rather cold and unfriendly whereas some are still OK.
I passed by a few shops but did not find anything which suits my liking (was pretty discouraged already) until I entered Cristelle.
CristelleFacebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/Cristelle.sgAddress: Far East Plaza #03-120ATel: 6735 7860
The salesgirl was also a middle-aged PRC lady sporting a bright body-hugging pink bandage dress and looked like the lady boss there.
We spotted a photo of her and Mediacorp Artiste – Joanne Peh pinned at a prominent corner of the shop’s wall.
|Joanne Peh Sporting a Bandage Dress (Not Sure if it is from Cristelle as I took this image from Google)|
The salesgirl kept singing praises of her dresses and said that they are very good as even Joanne Peh patronises their shop.
|The Boutique’s Flagship Bandage Dress|
Their dresses looked pretty promising and I was desperate to buy a suitable dress for my Dinner and Dance which happen to be on the evening of the following day hence my willpower was rather low whilst I was doing my last minute shopping.
I tried a long dress which looked eye-catching but realised that I do not feel comfortable wearing it as although the translucent outer layer is long, the inner lining is very short (just enough to cover my buttocks). The salesgirl said many things to persuade me to get that dress by saying that I couldn’t find any other dress as good looking as hers in the entire Far East Plaza and even Joanne Peh patronises her shop etc. I can also wear safety shorts under the dress if I feel that the inner lining is too short.
However, things are not that simple as the top part of the dress was rather baggy for my small frame (Joanne Peh is tall and lanky FYI). The salesgirl rattled on to say I can send it for alteration (my event is on the next day.. time is not at my side please…). Fine, Mistake #1 was me agreeing to buy that dress. That dress cost SGD129.
Subsequently, the salesgirl tried to promote other dresses to me saying that if I purchase 2 dresses and above, I can enjoy a special discount. Then without asking, she started grabbing a few dresses (be it evening gowns or normal office wear) off the racks and made me try them. Mistake #2 was that I compliantly tried some of the dresses when told to do so although I declined to try most of them as I was looking for evening gowns, not office wear. I tried the dresses because I wanted to find a more suitable dress than the first one I tried as the ideal dress is not to pay extra bucks on alteration afterwards which leads to Mistake #3 – conflict of interest as the salesgirl wanted to sell more dresses whereas I only wanted to buy ONE which suits me.
In the beginning, the salesgirl was rather helpful and overly-enthusiastic in her recommendations. However as time goes by, this ‘helpful’ service turned into another round of pushy hard selling as she started injecting her personal opinions that almost all dresses looked gorgeous on me (which I myself was NOT convinced at all as I do NOT feel comfortable wearing them and they are not fitting for my small frame). Also, she started to barge into the fitting room (the ‘door’ was actually a curtain whereby you can slide open easily) when I was in the midst of changing in order to stuff new dresses for me to try and I started to feel rather offended by her intrusion. Although we are both women, I am not comfortable to let a stranger see me in my bra. Mistake #4 for not telling her off that she is rude.
Feeling rather tired and wanted to bring this to a close, I tried one last dress – a plain white laced long dress which I thought can pull-off the Oscars theme and is simple enough to wear it on other occasions with other accessories.
I felt comfortable in it (at least the inner lining was slightly longer) and not much alteration is required – just need to shorten the straps which is not difficult. Also, I thought that a plain looking dress would cost cheaper than the SGD129 one.
I told the salesgirl I wanted the white dress instead and her attitude changed instantly. She commented that the plain white dress cost SGD149 — SGD20 more than the grander looking one which I initially approved of. In addition, since I previously approved the first dress, I should get that TOGETHER with the white one. Her efforts would go down the drain if I keep changing my mind to get the latest dress I tried and abort getting the previous pieces and she suggested not to let me try more dresses if that is the case (I am tired of all that changing anyway).As I am living on budget (nothing to be ashamed of as we all have budgets unless you are freaking rich), I politely declined her and said I would like to have some time to consider and was ready to leave the shop as I could already sense her annoyance.
The salesgirl raised her voice at me and said that her service was not bad (OK, I admit that she was helpful INITIALLY) and she had been very patient with me (although NOT addressing my needs). She commented that her impression of Singaporeans have been good – they have been responsible consumers and will at least purchase something from her shop after having her serve them diligently. Also, she said that she would really be offended and angry if I walk out on her without buying a single item.
Mistake #5 – I softened down as I started to feel bad for not ‘supporting’ her after ‘wasting’ almost 20 minutes of her precious time. I should have stayed firm to my decision and strut out of the shop without feeling remorseful and let her condemn Singaporeans… HAIZ.
Mistake #6 – I relented and let her swipe my ATM Card in the next 5 seconds. The total damage was SGD149.
The problem is I do not really like that dress in the first place – I bought it only because I need a presentable looking dress for Dinner and Dance.
|Plain Looking Cream Coloured Long Lacy Dress|
Secondly, I felt that the dress is overpriced as it is made up of only a plain piece of lacy material.
|There is NO lining on the top part, hence you must wear a camisole inside…|
If you guys have ways to counter such pushy sales tactics, please do share with me so that I can have the courage to return to Far East Plaza to shop again.