Photo studio Naughty by Nature abruptly shut down over the weekend, leaving thousands of customers in the lurch.
A former employee with the studio alleges that around 6,000 customers have unfulfilled packages of up to $4,000 each. That amounts up to a potential 24 million dollars!
Thirty customers who were left high and dry have banded together on blogs to share information on what they can do. Nine also made a police report yesterday.
When contacted by the Yahoo Singapore, director Raghupathi Akkaiah, 30, claims he bought over the company in March this year from a Mr Bupendra Ramason, 43. Akkaiah said that he was unable to sustain it financially and said, ”My savings are depleted, I had no choice but to shut it down.”
According to post on Asia One, a sign was found on the studio doors saying: “Dear members of Naughty By Nature Pte Ltd & Foto Gallery Pte Ltd please be informed that the STUDIOZ will cease its operations with effect from 07 June 2010. As such services & productions will cease for both Naughty By Nature & Foto Gallery. We sincerely apologise and deeply regret for being unable to service our clients anymore. Please direct your queries to: firstname.lastname@example.org
CASE is currently investigating the matter. In the interim period it advices consumers of Naughty By Nature the following:
As of 15 June 2010 (9.00am), the status of Naughty By Nature was live. Hence, if the company’s status is still ‘live’ at ACRA but not operating at their premises, the first thing the consumer need to do is to file a claim against the business at the Small claims Tribunal (SCT) so that he can obtain an Order of the Tribunal and demand the business to pay whatever amount awarded to him / her by the SCT. If the amount is not settled, the consumer can enforce the order by taking out a writ of seizure of other forms of legal action.
However, if the company or sole proprietor or partners offer a package and collect money with no intention to execute the package and cease operations, that may amount to a scam and be regarded as criminal offence rather than a genuine business failure. There is a possibility that the Director of the business may be held personally liable for the debts of the company when it is being wound up under the Companies Act. The sole proprietor or partner will also be liable for the debts of the business. Consumers can file a complaint with the police, so that the persons liable for the scam can be charged in court for commission of a criminal offence.
CASE had previously in 2007 commenced an injunction action against Naughty By Nature and its then two directors including Bupendra Ramason for breaching the Consumer Protection (Fair Trading) Act.
Should consumers require any assistance regarding their disputes with Naughty By Nature, they can call CASE’s hotline at 6463 1811. Consumers can also visit the Small Claims Tribunal at Havelock Road to file a claim.IN Living in Singapore | June 17, 2010