HUNDREDS queued outside the auditorium, documents in hand, anxiously waiting to enter.
Half an hour before the meeting was to start, a 100m-long queue had already formed outside the Rock Auditorium at Suntec City.
They were customers - some had spent up to $10,000 - left high and dry since the sudden closure of spa chain Subtle Senses last month.
They were there to attend a creditors' meeting as Subtle Senses had filed for liquidation.
Due to the slow process of checking each customers' proof of debt issued by the liquidators, the meeting, scheduled to start at 3pm, was pushed back to 3.30pm.
Even so, half of those who had turned up managed to enter only at 4pm.
By then, the meeting had commenced and liquidators Chio Lim Stone Forest were in the midst of presenting Subtle Senses' statement of affairs on a slide.
This angered some of the customers who were among the last to enter.
One woman shouted: "Can you please start all over again? I managed to enter here only a few minutes ago, even though I had been queueing since 2pm!"
Seated at the front of the auditorium was a panel consisting of two people from Chio Lim Stone Forest, a lawyer from Rodyk & Davidson, Subtle Senses' director Dr Billy Hardie and his personal advisor.
Emotions ran high when Chio Lim Stone Forest's Chee Yoh Chuang started re-explaining the company's statement of affairs.
A customer, who wanted to be known only as Beatrice, stomped up to a nearby standing microphone and retorted: "Why are you telling us all these things for? We just want to know how we can get our money back."
To this, the audience - which occupied about three-quarters of the auditorium - broke into applause.
There were cries of "yes" and "let's just get straight to the point" from different parts of the auditorium.
A man in his 50s muttered to a fellow customer: "It's like a circus in here."
Among other matters, the meeting's agenda was for customers to receive a statement of the company's affairs and appoint liquidators.
But the question that lingered on everyone's mind was: What can be done now to help us?
According to the Spa, Beauty and Wellness Alliance's (SBWA) website, nine companies have stepped forward to help Subtle Senses' stranded customers.
But customers were concerned that these spas would not recognise their Subtle Senses packages as they do not have official records of the number of treatments left.
"How can we be assured that these spas will truly take us on as their own customers, without making us pay for more packages?" asked one.
Said Dr Hardie: "We are working with SBWA to urge them to allow customers to redeem packages as soon as possible."
The meeting, which lasted about four hours, saw about 40 questions asked.
Most were about redeeming packages.
But no definite answers were given, said some whom we spoke to.
Ms A. Ling, 32, an accountant, said: "The meeting was a waste of time. I am definitely not going to let this sit. This whole saga is just the start."
Customers took turns to hog the microphone to voice their own worries.
Some could not wait and interrupted others by snatching the microphone away.
Then, there were calls for former CEO Gerald Lim to go on stage.
One woman asked: "Where is Gerald? I think he's in here somewhere. Why is he not on stage? Let's get him a chair to sit on stage."
The New Paper could not verify if Mr Lim was present at the meeting.
When the meeting eventually ended after three hours at about 7.30pm, the frustrations and anger that had fired the crowd turned into weariness.
A customer who wanted to be known only as Mr Lin said:"We just want to be assured of what we can get..."
This article was first published in The New Paper.