Case Studies For July 2017

Case Study #1

In March 2017, Mrs Chua* purchased a massage chair for $7,900, inclusive of extended warranty. The massage chair was delivered two weeks later, and upon trying, Mrs Chua realised that the air compressor of the chair emitted loud noisse and requested for an exchange. The company agreed and the replacement massage chair was delivered ten days later. Mrs Chua tried the massage chair against and discovered that the massager for the lower back was not working properly. Furthermore, the right speaker was faulty. She lost confidence in the company and requested for a refund.

CASE highlighted the Lemon Law to the company and explained that businesses are obliged to repair, replace, reduce the price or provide a refund for a defective good. The company eventually agreed to provide a full refund of $7,900 to Mrs Chua.

Case Study #2

In February 2017, Mr Ong* purchased a secondhand car from a car dealer. In May 2017, he was unable to start up the car. He sent the car to the workshop and found out that the gearbox was defective. He contacted the car dealer to bear the cost of the repairs as the defect was found within three months. However, the dealer was not very forthcoming. Hence, Mr Ong approached CASE for assistance.

CASE highlighted the Lemon Law to the company and explained that motoring businesses are obliged to repair, replace, reduce the price or provide a refund for a defective car. Upon CASE’s intervention, the car dealer agreed to bear 50% of the repair cost for the defective car.

Case Study #3

In May 2016, Mr Ong* purchased a pair of return tickets from an airline company for Singapore to Hobart with transit at Melbourne Airport. He paid the full amount of $1,900 via credit card. In July 2016, he and his companion boarded the flight. However, during the transit, he was informed by the crew at the check in counter that they were unable to locate his air tickets in the system. Mr Ong had to make a hour long international call to the airline’s customer service centre, which resulted in over $200 of roaming charges.

He was advised to purchase new connecting return flights from Melbourne to Hobart at a later time which would be reimbursed by the airline. He paid AUD1,100.00 for these tickets. This caused significant inconvenience to the consumer as he had to rearrange his schedule since the new flight departed several hours later. After flying back to Singapore, he contacted the airline for a refund. However, his refund was delayed for more than six months. With assistance from CASE, Mr Ong was able to receive a refund for the air tickets within a month.

Case Study #4

In April 2017, Mdm Lee* visited a beauty salon for an eyebrow shaping session. This service was part of an eyebrow package worth $50 that she had bought several weeks ago. During the eyebrow shaping session, the beautician recommended a 3D eyebrow embroidery service at $128. Mdm Lee agreed to this proposal. The beautician proceeded to embroider one eyebrow. Subsequently, Mdm Lee was told that the embroidery done was 4D embroidery which cost $630. She felt that she had no choice other than to pay $630 for the beautician to embroider the other eyebrow. A week later, the eyebrow embroidery faded. As such, she requested for a reasonable refund.

Under the Consumer Protection (Fair Trading) Act (CPFTA), it is an unfair practice to exert pressure on a consumer to enter into a contract. CASE negotiated with the beauty salon and was able to get back a 50% refund for Mdm Lee.

*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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