Case Studies For October 2017

Case Study #1

In December 2016, Ms Peng* paid $3,200 for a branded handbag. The salesperson informed her that she was entitled to lifetime warranty for the item. In April 2017, the buckle of the handbag fell off. She visited the shop and was told that they needed to send the bag to Italy for repair as the shop had no replacement stock, and that she would need to bear the cost of the shipping. Furthermore, it would take approximately two to four months for the repair job to be completed.

Under the Lemon Law, consumers may keep the defective goods and request for a reduction in price or return the defective goods for a refund if the business is not able to provide repair or replacement within a reasonable time or without significant inconvenience to the consumer. CASE highlighted the Lemon Law to the company and Ms Peng was able to get back a full refund for the handbag.

Case Study #2

In June 2017, Mr Mohamed* engaged a contractor to renovate his home at $20,200. Three weeks later, he was told that the renovation works were completed. Upon inspection, Mr Mohamed noticed that the glass panels for the window were of the wrong color, the lock for the kitchen window grille was not installed and the renovation for the toilet was uncompleted. As the contractor failed to complete the renovation works according to the contract, Mr Mohamed requested for rectification or suitable compensation for the unsatisfactory works.

CASE negotiated with the contractor, and both parties eventually agreed to a $1,500 compensation to Mr Mohamed as the final settlement.

Case Study #3

In April 2017, Mdm Tan* visited a beauty salon for a free facial trial. During the treatment, she was persuaded to sign up for some treatment packages and beauty products amounting to $26,000. Her sister found out and realised that the salon did not issue any receipt to Mdm Tan. Her sister also informed the salon that Mdm Tan was psychiatrically unwell as diagnosed by a doctor and was not able to make an informed purchase decision.

CASE highlighted that it was an unfair practice under the Consumer Protection (Fair Trading) Act to take advantage of a consumer who is not in a position to protect her own interests. With assistance from CASE, Mdm Tan was able to terminate the contract, return the unopened beauty products and get back a refund of $25,800, less the cost of two beauty products that had already been used by Mdm Tan.

Case Study #4

In April 2017, Mrs Chua* brought her electric iron to a repair centre and requested for a quotation for the repair of the dented iron plate. The counter staff informed her that there would be no charge to quote for the repair. Two days later, a staff called and quoted $198 for the repair cost of the iron. Mrs Chua felt that the repair cost was too expensive and declined. Subsequently, she was informed by the staff that she needed to pay $35 for service charge before they could return the iron to her. Mrs Chua disagreed and approached CASE for assistance.

Under the Consumer Protection (Fair Trading) Act, it is an unfair practice to make misleading or false claims in relation to a consumer transaction. CASE negotiated with the repair centre and assisted Mrs Chua to get back her electric iron at no cost.

*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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