Case Studies For May 2014

Case Study #1

In February 2013, Mr Aw* purchased a branded automatic watch from a watch company for $2,465 and paid in full. Prior to purchase, the person-in-charge informed Mr Aw that the watch would be able to run continuously for the next 36 hours if left untouched. However, Mr Aw found out that the watch would stop after 12 hours since he last wore it. To date, the watch had been serviced three times at the service centre. The company claimed the affected parts were repaired, but the issue still persisted. Mr Aw requested for a refund of the defective watch.

The case was reported and CASE highlighted to the company that they may have infringed upon CPFTA Section 12A Lemon Law - Defective Goods. CASE negotiated with the company and Mr Aw was given a one-to-one exchange of a new watch as the final settlement.


Case Study #2

In June 2008, Mr Singh* purchased a safe for $748 with a five year warranty. Almost five years later, the safe could not be opened. Mr Singh informed the company who sent down a staff to take a look at the safe. The staff reported that the lock was faulty and suggested drilling holes to open the safe and repair the lock. Mr Singh was uncomfortable with the suggestion and requested for the company to replace the entire door and lock of the safe.

CASE highlighted the Sale of Goods Act to the company and the company agreed to replace a new door and lock for the safe.


Case Study #3

In October 2011, Ms Ho* signed a wedding banquet package with a hotel. She paid a deposit of $3,000 upfront. The terms of the contract stated that Ms Ho would be given priority to choose any date in September 2013 for her wedding banquet. However, the company subsequently claimed that they could not accede to the terms of the agreement. Additionally, they wanted to raise the price for each table. Ms Ho then requested to change the banquet package to a solemnisation package, with the banquet deposit to be used for the solemnisation. However, the hotel declined. Ms Ho lost confidence in the hotel and requested for a refund of the amount she paid.

CASE negotiated with the hotel on Ms Ho’s behalf and the hotel eventually agreed to allow Ms Ho to transfer her package and deposit to another couple.


Case Study #4

In October 2012, Ms Yeo* ordered a altar from a company and informed them to customise the altar according to her drawing. She paid a deposit of $500 for delivery of the altar by mid-December. Ms Yeo paid another $1,320 on 6 November as the final payment. However, the company changed the delivery dates several times. Ms Yeo was also never given the opportunity to view the works in progress. The altar was finally delivered on 1st February. It came with a lot of defects and the carvings on the altar did not conform to the original drawing. The shop owner agreed to refund but failed to make good on his promise. Ms Yeo lost confidence in the company and requested for a refund of the monies paid.

The case was highlighted to CASE and the company was informed that they may have infringed upon – CPFTA Section 12A Lemon Law – Goods do not conform to contract. CASE negotiated with the company and the company eventually agreed to refund Ms Yeo $1000 in the end.


Case Study #5

In February 2013, a salesperson offered to trade-in Mdm Chew’s* steamboat set with a top-up of $2,000 to get an additional top plate and pot. Mdm Chew agreed and paid $1,400 for it. In Apr 2013, the salesperson approached Mdm Chew again and offered to sell her another pot and electric boiler. Mdm Chew paid an additional $400 as she was under the impression that that the payment was for the original transaction in February. However, the salesperson later informed Mdm Chew that the $400 paid was only a deposit for the new purchase of the pot and electric boiler worth $1,550. Mdm Chew requested to cancel the second transaction and transfer the $400 she paid to offset the remaining balance of the first transaction.

CASE informed the company that they may have infringed upon the CPFT (Cancellation of Contracts Regulations 2009) - failure to inform or honour 5-day cooling off period. The issue was resolved after the company agreed to refund Mdm Chew with $500 in cash.


Case Study #6

In June 2012, Mr Ng* paid $8,338 for two premium economy air tickets for travel to Vancouver. The airline was unable to honour the travel service agreement due to a last minute change in the plane equipment and downgraded Mr Ng to the normal economy seats. The airline failed to inform Mr Ng or the travel agency about this issue and Mr Ng only discovered this when he tried to do an online check-in. The airline apologised for the negligence but only offered to refund $137 per ticket. Mr Ng requested for a partial refund of $4,400 instead.

He reported the matter to CASE and the company was informed that they might have infringed upon the CPFTA - Making claims that goods or services are from a certain country or of a particular quality or standard when they are not. The case was resolved with CASE’s assistance and the consumer managed to get a refund of $1,468.

*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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