There is no better place to get a good tech deal than Plaza Low Yat if you're in Kuala Lumpur.
No matter whether you want to buy, sell, fix computers or phones, you'll find someone to deal with in this mainstay of Bukit Bintang.
While it really is the city's one-stop centre for all things tech, it can be confusing for new and inexperienced visitors.
You will also need to be cautious. While scams like the Sim Lim Square 'sign for extra warranty' don't happen at Low Yat, there are still people who will prey on the gullible.
Additional reporting by Erna Mahyuni
1. Do Your Research!
If something is too good to be true, there’s probably a catch. Go online and check the retail price of what you’re looking for, so you’ll be able to spot a con-job when you’re shopping around. If it retails everywhere else for RM2000 and a shop is offering to sell it for M950, it’s a steal.
Except it’s your money that’ll get stolen. Don’t be a cheapskate, or you might end up paying a lot more.
2. Look for company registration numbers
Although not a guarantee of the best prices or service, this means that the shop is at least legitimately registered though whether is a legitimately honest business, that's hard to tell.
But you should still compare prices and use some discretion. After all, the point of a business is to make a profit.
If you're really unsure about a company's legitimacy, then just go online to the Companies Commission of Malaysia (SSM) website. Only caveat is that it costs about RM15 a search so don't go overly search-happy unless you're really unsure.
3. Don't go in blind!
This ties in with doing your research. Don’t go into Plaza Low Yat without a purpose. That’s when you’ll start wandering into odd shops and get conned into getting something you might not have intended to buy anyway.
Know what you want, compare prices and then decide if you’re buying it. You don’t want to leave Plaza Low Yat with a bag full of overpriced old cameras instead of the smartphone you were maybe thinking of getting…
(Image via Reddit)
4. Don’t understand? Don't sign!
Your signature is your legally binding promise. Don’t sign anything without reading it! And why do you have to sign anything apart from a credit card receipt (if you use a credit card) anyway?
A warranty card usually requires your particulars, the receipt and the shop’s stamp. So if an invoice looks rather dubious, or a warranty agreement needs your signature and comes folded in half - spend your time to read it. If you can’t, then go to another shop.
(Image found here)
5. Know how to file a tribunal complaint
Malaysia's Tribunal for Consumer Claims can actually be pretty useful. All you need to do is file your claim (you can even do it online) and if a hearing is called, the company you filed the claim against must attend the hearing. Non-attendance is punishable by law.
The fees for filing a claim are a minimal RM10 and since you will be expected to represent yourself, no lawyer fees need be incurred. Of course the company could choose to dispute or make a counterclaim against you but chances are good you will get a hearing.
6. Always keep the receipt
Before you buy something ask about the WERs: Warranty, Exchange Policy and Refunds. And always (ALWAYS!) hold onto the receipt like your life depends on it. If it’s a thermal paper receipt, take a photo of it or photocopy it before the letters disappear.
7. Choose from reputable shops
It has to be said that Plaza Low Yat has never been known for stellar service standards - it’s really more of a bargain hunters' hub and computer parts paradise. As with spending money anywhere, keep your eyes open and your senses about you. To help you along, here are a few long-established and fairly reputable shops in Plaza Low Yat, if you’re looking to brave that gadget jungle.
All-IT, 3-IT-019C-Zone, 2-056,2-057Cycom, 3001BJayacom, 3IT018Thunder Match, 4-021,4025
For maps and a full directory listing, go to the Plaza Low Yat website.