Case Studies For March 2018

Case Study #1

In December 2017, Mdm Kumar* booked two coach seats to Kuala Lumpur for $132 from a transportation company. The departure time was 8.30am. The description on the website stated that the coach would have full on-board services hosted by a steward/stewardess with individual LCD screen preloaded with movies. One day before the trip, she was informed the departure time would be delayed by two hours as the bus had broke down. When Mdm Kumar finally boarded the coach, she was told that it was free seating despite having booked the seats online. She eventually had to sit in a seat that was dirty. She later realised that the LCD monitor screen at her seat was not working. Furthermore, there was no wi-fi services as promised on board. After the trip, Mdm Kumar provided her feedback to the company and requested for a refund for the unsatisfactory services rendered.

Under the Consumer Protection (Fair Trading) Act (CPFTA), it is an unfair practice for a business to make misleading or false claims in relation to a consumer transaction. CASE negotiated with the company and was able to secure a $92 refund for Mdm Kumar.

Case Study #2

In July 2017, Mr Chan* booked a five-days tour to Hong Kong for two people with a departure date in August 2017 from a travel agency and paid $1,600. Due to a typhoon, he was forced to pay another $345 (1900HKD) for two additional days of accommodation until it was safe to fly out of Hong Kong. The agency agreed to compensate an amount of $300 to him, but subsequently backed out of the arrangement.

Under the Consumer Protection (Fair Trading) Act (CPFTA), it is an unfair practice for a business to make misleading or false claims in relation to a consumer transaction. CASE negotiated with the agency and was able to secure a $300 refund for Mr Chan.

Case Study #3

In November 2017, Ms Ami* purchased two children’s bicycles for $194 (inclusive of $20 delivery) from an online website. After the bicycles were delivered, she noted that the frame and height of one of the bicycles was not suitable for her child, while the other bicycle had a defective bell. Ms Ami approached the company which had a one-to-one exchange policy within seven days from the date of purchase. However, the company failed to respond to her emails, calls and texts thereafter.

Under the Lemon Law, businesses are obliged to repair, replace, reduce the price or provide a refund for a defective item. With CASE’s intervention, the company agreed to refund $87 to Ms Ami for the defective bicycle.

Case Study #4

In December 2017, Mrs Zhu* was offered a free gift at a baby fair after accepting a request to demonstrate the use of a vacuum cleaner at her house. Three days later, the salesperson visited her house for the product demonstration. After the demonstration, he informed Mrs Zhu that the vacuum cleaner would cost $80 per month for the next three years, which amounted to almost $3,000. Mrs Zhu claimed that she was not informed of any charges involved and requested to cancel the purchase.

CASE negotiated with the company and was able to recover a full refund for Mrs Zhu, less the 5% cancellation fee imposed.

*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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