Case Studies For May 2017

Case Study #1

In June 2016, Ms Shaw* purchased four rolls of wallpapers from a shop. She paid $880 for the four rolls of wallpaper and was told that she would need to pay $75 separately to the installer who would visit her house for the wallpaper installation. When the installation was completed a week later, Ms Shaw was told to pay $300 for the total cost of the installation at $75 per roll. She approached the shop and was told that the installer was an external party and was not an employee of their company. She felt misled and requested for a refund of the extra charges.

Under the Consumer Protection (Fair Trading) Act (CPFTA), it is an unfair practice to make misleading claims in relation to a consumer transaction. CASE negotiated with the shop and both parties eventually agreed to a 20% refund of the cost of the wallpaper to Ms Shaw as the final settlement.

Case Study #2

In November 2014, Mr Ibrahim* pre-ordered two model figurines from a shop. The figurines cost $2,800 and he paid $400 as a deposit. The salesperson informed him that the shipment would take a couple of months and requested for Mr Ibrahim to wait for an update from the shop. Upon collection, he could pay the balance for the figurines. Subsequently, no updates were provided and Mr Ibrahim forgot about the matter until he chanced upon the pre-order slips recently. He returned to the shop and realised that the physical shop had since closed down but the online store was still available. He requested for the two figurines to be sent to him as soon as possible or to get back a refund of the $400 deposit.

CASE negotiated with the business on the consumer’s behalf and Mr Ibrahim was able to get back a full refund of $400 as the final settlement.

Case Study #3

In October 2016, Mr Leon* paid $220 for four tailor-made business shirts. The final alterations were done in February 2017. However, the tailor failed to deliver the shirts despite multiple follow ups from Mr Leon for over a month. In view of this, Mr Leon requested for a refund of the payment.

CASE negotiated with the business on the consumer’s behalf and Mr Leon was able to get back a full refund of $220 as the final settlement.

Case Study #4

Mr Ramesh* booked an apartment through an online portal for a three-days stay in Tokyo in November 2016 and paid $500. When he was in Tokyo, he found out that the apartment was empty and he was not able to contact the host. He checked with the neighbours and was told that the person listed as the host did not exist. As such, Mr Ramesh had to pay around 30000 Yen for a hotel room. He contacted the business for a refund of his booking and compensation for his hotel fees but to no avail.

CASE negotiated with the business on the consumer’s behalf and Mr Ramesh was able to get back a refund of $800 for money paid for the apartment booking and hotel fees.

Case Study #5

In December 2016, Mdm Seah* paid $350 for a water feature. She agreed to the purchase after the salesperson tested out the water feature prior to purchase and showed her that it was working properly. Mdm Seah thus set up the water feature at her house. After a few hours, she noticed that water leaking out from the pipe of the water feature. She informed the business on the next day. A representative was sent to her house to reinstall the water feature with new replacement parts, but the same problem reoccurred again. As the water leakage problem was not resolved, Mdm Seah requested for a refund.

Under the Lemon Law, businesses are obliged to repair, replace, reduce the price or provide a refund for a defective product. CASE negotiated with the business which eventually agreed to exchange the water feature to a different item of equivalent value.

*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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