Case Studies For January 2018

Case Study #1

In November 2017, Ms Lin* purchased a luxury wallet for $1,100. At the point of purchase, she checked if the zips worked fine and ascertained they did. Hence, she passed the wallet back to the salesperson to repackage it into the box. When she went home, Ms Lin opened the box and found out that there were multiple scratches on the zip head. She opened the wallet and saw what seemed like rust on the inner zip as well. The following day, Ms Lin went back to the store and looked for the salesperson who had attended to her the previous day. However, he denied ever serving her and claimed that the scratches must have been caused by herself. She tried to reason with him by showing him the receipts and original packaging, but to no avail.

Under the Lemon Law, businesses are obliged to repair, replace, reduce in price or provide a refund for a defective product. CASE highlighted the Lemon Law to the company which agreed to replace Ms Lin’s wallet with a brand-new wallet.

Case Study #2

In March 2017, Mr Ho* bought a brand new handphone with a one year warranty at $258. He was not able to use the handphone thereafter as the screen was locked. He checked with his telco company and the handphone manufacturer and discovered that the handphone was a region locked handset from a different region. This meant that he could not use the handphone with a local SIM card. Mr Ho went back to the retailer to for rectification of this issue but the retailer denied selling the handphone to him. Hence, he sought CASE’s assistance.

CASE highlighted to the retailer that it is an unfair practice under the Consumer Protection (Fair Trading) Act (CPFTA) to make misleading or false claims in relation to a consumer transaction. The retailer eventually agreed to unlock Mr Ho’s handphone for free.

Case Study #3

Mr Adam* signed up for a gym membership and 40 personal training sessions with a fitness club in December 2016 and paid $2,900 in total. However, the trainer kept postponing the training sessions and eventually requested to stop the sessions due to personal reasons. Mr Adam approached the fitness club and sought assurance that a different personal trainer would be assigned to him, but the fitness club was not able to make the commitment. Thus, he requested to cancel the contract as the promised service was not rendered.

CASE negotiated with the fitness club and was successfully able to get a new personal trainer to be assigned to Mr Adam in short notice.

Case Study #4

Ms Theresa* had previously signed up for a slimming package in May 2016. In January 2017, Ms Theresa* was approached by a staff to upgrade her package while she was undergoing the slimming treatment. Ms Theresa declined to upgrade the package but the staff continued to promote the upgraded service. She felt uncomfortable as she was lying undressed on the bed. After some time, Ms Theresa agreed to the upgrade in order to move on to the next step of the treatment. She paid $1,000 for the package upgrade.

Exerting undue pressure on a consumer to enter into a transaction is an unfair practice under the Consumer Protection (Fair Trading) Act (CPFTA). CASE negotiated with the company and was able to terminate the package upgrade and get back a full refund for Ms Theresa.

*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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