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10 Signs Your Interior Designer Might Be A Scammer
26 May, 2017

Aside from the usual Interior Inspiration or Design Tips & Tricks, here’s a guide on the 10 tell-tale signs on why your ID Firm might be a hoax and how you can protect yourself from Renovation Scams/Frauds — to ensure a safer & smoother Home Renovation.

 

1. NO PORTFOLIO

He/She has zero web presence online — such as no functioning website, facebook or collation of completed projects to as reference for their previous work. This is often an indication that the firm is either New, or in worst cases — a company that’s about to commit fraud.

Luring you in with their often “quick deadlines” or incredibly low prices — these are the firms you should definitely stay wary/ be mindful of, making sure to keep tabs on their progress should you choose to engage them.

 

2. NO OFFICE OR SHOWROOM

We can forgive & forget if the firm is new & hasn’t had the capital to build a showroom up — in that case the firm should provide you with a substantial portfolio as reference to their reliability & capability in managing your renovation.

Have a search on Google Maps, and even head down to their listed office to have look if there’s at least a tiny team supporting the business.

Often so, dubious-looking companies tend to have a hole-in-the-wall office which is simply decorated(ready to reinstate when they run) that’s always closed — or even as little as a registered CBD post box to receive bills and payments.
3. THEY’RE RELUCTANT TO LET YOU SEE THEIR OFFICE

Linking back to the point above — he/she only requests to meet up at your place or anywhere else for a cup of coffee — never once inviting you to their office/showroom for the settlement of contracts or presentation of their material selection when you do request — stay alert as this suspicious behaviour could indicate that he/she’s just taking you for ride.

 

4. YOU’RE PAYING MORE THAN THE WORK SHOWS FOR

If the company is asking you to pay more than the standard deposit rate of about (5%-10%), be on guard for the engagement of such ID firms.

In most cases, dubious ID firms tend to request for advanced payments more than the estimated deposit, or even as high as the full contract amount — promising you they’ll complete your home within your ideal deadline.

Be patient & really try your best to plan for a home renovation at least 2-3 months before it needs to be done — this puts you out of any situation to engage any “sloppy” looking contractors/firms that’ll say anything to meet your requirement.
If you’re really in the need of a sudden renovation due to unforeseen circumstances — we recommend that you engage a more established ID Firm (even if it costs more) just for security.
5. M.I.A/ UNCONTACTABLE

It’s important that your ID Firms is in constant update with you, you should never feel like you’re constantly chasing him/her to make agreements or left out of the progress of your renovation — this shows he/she’s either uninterested in your business or might even be incapable of completing your renovation.

 

6. NO TESTIMONIALS OR WORD-OF-MOUTH

Singapore is small, so it’s easy to find written reviews of various ID Firms on forums. No matter how small a company may be, there’ll always be that someone who has given the company a chance before you — making them the best go to for a no-frills testimonial.

If you’ve got a couple of friends/family who have just completed their renovation — try sounding the firm out to them too (judging that they’ve done their research before) — they can probably give you good advice on whether you should engage them or not even if they’ve not heard of the firm.

7. NO BUSINESS REGISTRY

This is an obvious hint that the firm’s not serious — if they can’t make the effort to register their business — they’re in no way good enough to manage your home’s renovation.

 

8. “ATTRACTIVE” PRICES

No matter how tight your budget is or how thrifty you are by nature — always stay clear of prices that are incredibly low when compared with general quotes from other shortlisted ID Firms.

Even if it’s a referral from a family/friend — there’s always possibility for items where the cost gets, it gets compromised in quality.

(With that said, there are still some things that are too good to be true — and these packages usually come from more reputable/well-established firms.)
Your home being a giant investment in itself, don’t let it hurt to spend that little more if necessary to ensure its durability in the long run.
9. BAD VIBES/ YOU DON’T GET ALONG

If the firm hits more than 50% of the tell-tale signs above & it so happens that neither/either you or your spouse gets along with the Sales Designer from the firm — it’s best to move-on and search for another.

Regardless if the firm seems to operate with no ill-content — it’s always important you find a firm that you can gel with, to prevent potential miscommunications or even disagreements from arising during the renovation process — because there’s nothing worst than entrusting your precious home to a person you can’t trust.

If you do really like the firm’s work but just can’t seem to get along with your allocated Sales Designer — politely let the firm’s management know & they’ll most likely offer a replacement to takeover your project.

 

10. NO INVOICE/ CONTRACT

Although a verbal agreement has been made on the scope of works to be done — with the final amount agreed by both parties — there’s seems to be no black & white on the promised transaction.

Often requesting for first payments to be made, dubious ID Firms tend to refuse/delay the provision of a fully itemised contract — using the excuse of “trust” & “informality” as reasoning for no formal documentation.

Our advice is to walk away & immediately search for the next deserving ID Firm who can provide you these basic documentation — as it is within your right as a customer to know what you’re paying for, and of ethical practice that your ID Firm is honest & proper about it.

To summarise, here’s our general rule of thumb: if the ID Firm refuses to answer your questions or even provide the Basic Information/Documents needed for every renovation — we suggest to never accept the services of such firms no matter how “cost-effective or efficient” they may seem — even if they’re a referral from a family/friend.

Nonetheless, remember to always be reasonable and courteous to your renovation provider, as these signs only apply to a minority of ID firms in our Local Market! — and don’t forget to always do your research!

Too busy or afraid you’ll miss out? — ST Homes is here to help. Trust us to source for you a reliable Interior Designer (ID) to transform your precious home into your personal living! With an extensive list of (carefully screened & selected) trustable IDs, we’ll have no problem in pairing you with one that’s suitable to your renovation needs!

Just with your renovation details, we’ll link you up with potential ID Firms (dependant on the scope of works) that’ll be able to cater to your needs — all for free

So request for FREE Renovation Quotes now at our website for your information and inspiration!

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