Case Studies For December 2017

Case Study #1

Mrs Ang* booked a cruise trip for $1,900. The cruise ship was scheduled to depart two months later. Several weeks later, there was a complication with her pregnancy and Mrs Ang was granted hospitalisation leave for two weeks, which coincided with the cruise trip. In view of the unexpected health complication, Mrs Ang requested to cancel the trip for a refund. The company disagreed and was only willing to refund the amount she paid for the tax.

CASE negotiated with the company on behalf of Mrs Ang, and the company eventually agreed to provide Mrs Ang with a credit certificate worth $1,500 with validity of one year, to be used for future cruise bookings.

Case Study #2

Mdm Toh* went for a basic eyebrow embroidery session at a beauty salon. She was quoted $120 for the eyebrow embroidery. Before the session, the beautician kept recommending other types of eyebrow embroidery packages to Mdm Toh, claiming that the basic eyebrow embroidery was not suitable for her. Mdm Toh eventually agreed to take up a different embroidery package. However, after the session, she found out that the new package included some other items such as a one year brow touch-up and some other beauty products which she did not ask for. The entire cost of the package amounted to $1,800. The beautician also insisted for Mdm Toh sign on the invoice as proof that she was satisfied with the embroidery treatment, before she could fix the next follow-up appointment. When, Mdm Toh reached home, she discovered that the eyebrow embroidery was done unevenly. She requested to cancel the contract and return the unwanted products for a refund.

Under the Consumer Protection (Fair Trading) Act (CPFTA), it is an unfair practice for a business to exert undue pressure on a consumer to enter a transaction. Upon CASE’s intervention, the business eventually agreed to refund $1,680 to the consumer, less the cost of the basic eyebrow embroidery package.

Case Study #3

Mr Wong* received his January 2017 credit card statement and noticed that there was a deduction of USD99 membership fee (approximately SGD$148) for an online subscription service. He did not recall signing up for such a service. Mr Wong contacted his card-issuing bank and was advised by the call centre staff that they would conduct an investigation and cancel his credit card. He was informed to wait on the payment until the investigation was completed. However, the investigation by the bank took more than nine months, resulting in late charges continuously applied to his credit card. Subsequently, Mr Wong was advised to make payment for the service first (including the late payment fees) and the bank would continue the investigation. Mr Wong requested to expedite the investigation and waive all finance/late charges.

With CASE’s intervention, the bank agreed to waive all fees (inclusive of late charges). The company that provided the online subscription service also agreed to terminate the membership.

Case Study #4

In August 2017, Mr Idris* visited a furniture shop to purchase a leather recliner chair and paid $1,700 in full. The recliner was delivered three days later. Upon received the chair, Mr Idris realised that the armrests were of different heights and could not be adjusted. Furthermore, the backrest of the recliner could not be secured properly when he tried to lean back on the chair. Mr Idris contacted the furniture shop, and their staff only managed to rectify the armrest problem. Hence, he requested for an exchange to a non-defective recliner chair.

Under the Lemon Law, businesses are obliged to repair, replace, reduce the price or provide a refund for a defective product. CASE contacted the business which agreed to exchange the defective recliner to a new recliner chair.

*Please note that surnames have been changed to ensure the privacy of the consumers.

Should you find yourself in a similar situation, please do not hesitate to seek assistance from CASE. For general enquiries, you can call our hotline at 6100 0315 between 9am and 5pm from Mondays to Fridays and between 9am and 12pm on Saturdays. For an in-depth consultation with our officers, please visit us at 170 Ghim Moh Road, #05-01 Ulu Pandan Community Building, between 9am and 4pm from Mondays to Saturdays. You can also file a complaint online here.
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