Friday, September 27, 2019

Dealing with Maid Problems...

One the same day we buried my dad at sea, my mum and myself went over to the police station to make a police report. This is first time in my life that I had to do so and it was an interesting experience.

We fired our maid after she racked up $800 in phone bills using my father's phone while he was on his deathbed. The following month Singtel sent us a bigger bombshell - a $2,000 bill for the calls made to Myanmar as well as paid apps installed on my father's phone !

My first objective was to see whether this can somehow be positioned as theft on my maid's part, my second objective is to create a paper trail to seek an exemption from these fees by appealing to Singtel.

I was not successful at the police station to convince them that our maid stole from us. The IO felt that I might have a better case if the phone was locked and the maid hacked the phone. This, I somewhat agree, but it's good to have a printed copy of the police report. The police sergeant said that I have recourse at the Magistrate's Court in a civil suit, but I don't think it makes sense trying to sue a Myanmar maid.

Next, I went to Singtel, gave them a copy of my dad's death certificate, police report and, in essence, begged them to waive the fees while transferring the home line to my bank account. My concern was that the deduction will be by GIRO and given that I'm fresh from burying my dad, there is nothing I can do if Singtel decides to deduct the phone bill anyway. In this attempt, Singtel was compassionate enough to agree to waive the $2,000. I suspect this happens fairly often in Singapore.

I have decided not to make my final move which is to lodge a complain to MOM about my maid agency. They knew that the maid used my phone and racked up $800 of bills for our family and yet they foisted my maid to another employer days later. I thought MOM should be warned of this kind of behavior even though there is some chance that no action will be taken.

As the $2000 has been waived, I have decided to devote my time and effort on my father's estate and move on with my life.

Feel free to share your opinion as to whether I did right and what you would have done in my place. I am willing to entertain any legal suggestion on how to get my maid out of Singapore for good - I don't think any employer deserves to have her on payroll.

I am writing this so that other folks who have domestic helpers looking after senior citizens will get at least one data point on what to do.

The largest damage done to us is that my mum is now so terrified of domestic helpers and we will have challenges when eventually she will need someone to look after her later in life.


  1. I find it strange for the police to think it reasonable for your dad to have given carte blanche to chalk up such sums, considering past history. Especially if said sums were chalked up during the days & hours that your dad wasn't lucid e.g. sedated, unconscious etc.

    If it were me, I'd likely go ahead to lodge the MOM complain against both agency & the maid.

    Otherwise it may create more moral hazard in this industry (which is already less than pristine).

    Remember .... your mum or the future you / wife may have need for FDWs down the road.

  2. You will not have any issues with maids if you look after your family yourself.

    Having strangers living in the family house to replace "ourselves" to care for our own children and parents is a gross idea invented by the extreme capitalism.

    Some things in life cannot be outsourced.

  3. Like what Unknown said, I am puzzled why police did not want to handle your case. How can someone so phsically ill chalked up so much handphone bill?
    I had 2 bad maid cases previously with my sibilings. My brother's maid fron Indo vanished taking some moneybwih her. No record of leaving Sg and after 20+ years, she is still not found. Amazing. Another pinoy took tons of naked photos of herself, showed to the 2 young boys at home and get them to bring it to school to show their male classmates. They were studying in a boy's school. Police report was not made but was escorted to the airport immediately and send home.
    If your maid is recycle to another family, better reported to MOM else someone else will suffer later.

  4. Thank you for everyone's feedback. A lot of folks strongly believe that an MOM complaint should be lodged anyway.

    I will seriously consider this but I have some admin matters to attend to over the medium. If I do complain I will blog about this.