Friday, 29 September 2023

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$1 Propnex gambit raises serious questions

A lucky draw in which participants will only need to pay $1 and have a chance to land a condominium in Tampines has raised eyebrows.

With aggressive sponsored posts on Facebook and Instagram, property realty firm Propnex is offering participants the chance to win a grand prize of a condominium at the Treasure in Tampines being developed by the Sim Lian Group all for the grand price of $1 when members of the public register as a Propnex Friend.

The form requires those interested to fill up details of their personal data which all are compulsory and requires the individual to verify their contact detail(s) by means of one-time password sent to his or her indicated email/handphone along with the payment of $1 via PayNow/Paypal/Credit Card.

The firm also appears to have been sponsoring posts on social media to push for sign-ups.

These have been spotted on Instagram:

Meanwhile, these have been spotted on Facebook:

The lucky draw organised by Propnex has caused some online reactions, mostly negative.

Property agents TOC Asia spoke to indicate that the lucky draw appears to be a data mining exercise in which Propnex will be able to gather information from the participants who sign up.

“The intent of the lucky draw is very clear, in that the company aims to be wanting to collect data from the public for their future marketing outreach.

“Whether it is illegal or not is unknown, but what is important is that members of the public who are signing up must be aware of what they are signing up for, and what are the terms and conditions attached,” said an agent from a competing firm who spoke on condition of anonymity.

One of the conditions which participants must agree to include allowing Propnex the right for future marketing of all events and promotions by the company.

Consent to be given by the member of public who fills up the form

Participants will not be able to opt out of this condition, which then allows the company the access to the personal details, and allows them the right to use the details any way it deems necessary.

This practically allows Propnex, its agents, business partners or even companies which buys the information to reach out through whatsapp, sms or even emails for all future promotions, as it would have had access to a massive database of clients.

The company does not provide any details as to how the data collected will be used or protected, but what makes it clear is that members of the public who sign up all agree to having their personal data mined for all marketing efforts by the company and those it shares the data with.

Industry watchers point out to how this would even render Propnex’s own property agents useless as the company will be able to reach out to their clients directly, thus potentially meaning that agents may be bypassed, and potentially leading to a loss of income or having them cut off from the chain completely in future.

It is also not known if Propnex has secured a lucky draw permit from the Singapore Police Force.

What does seem clear about the promotion is that it is a massive data mining exercise which will provide the organiser with access to personal details, which the company will use down the line for their own outreach and marketing purposes.

And this requires some level of scrutiny by the authorities, and questioning by members of the public.

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