Case Studies For September 2014

Case Study #1

In April 2012, Mr Ong* bought a handbag as a birthday gift for his girlfriend. He paid $3,090 for it. Two days later, he presented the gift to his girlfriend and they realised that the protective lacquer on the handle of the handbag was torn. Mr Ong sought an exchange later in the day but it was to no avail, as the salesperson claimed that the torn handle was due to wear-and-tear. Mr Ong maintained his request for a one-to-one exchange of the handbag, or to return the defective handbag for a full refund.

CASE negotiated with the company and highlighted the Sale of Goods Act - goods sold must be of satisfactory quality. Mr Ong eventually received a one-to-one exchange of the handbag.


Case Study #2

In Nov 2011, Ms Jessie* saw a newspaper advertisement that advertised the sale of a HDB flat. She then contacted the seller’s agent. The agent told Ms Jessie that it was compulsory for her to have an agent and recommended his colleague to her. Ms Jessie agreed and signed the commission agreement. However, Ms Jessie only met up with her agent during the first appointment at the Housing Development Board in Jan 2012. She subsequently received a letter to pay a commission of $5,020. Ms Jessie felt that the estate agent was not proactive in assisting her to buy the flat and believed that the agent does not deserve the full commission. She was only willing to pay a small token sum.

The case was reported and CASE negotiated with the estate agency. The agency agreed to reduce the commission payable to $4,000 instead of $5,020 as the final settlement.


Case Study #3

In April 2012, Mdm Lee* purchased a frying pan from a company for $158. It was advertised on television that the frying pan was resistant to scratches. However, several scratches appeared when she used it for the first time. Mdm Lee called the company to enquire. The company said she should have used a wooden spoon instead of a metal spatula to cook. Mdm Lee disputed the reason as this was not mentioned in the advertisement. She felt that she was misled to buy the pan and requested for a refund of $158.

CASE highlighted to the company that they may infringed on the CPFTA - making false claims about the functionality or benefits of goods or services. As Mdm Lee had already made use of the frying pan, the company was not willing to provide a full refund. After negotiation, the company eventually agreed to give a partial refund of $138 to Mdm Lee.


Case Study #4

In July 2013, Mdm Kuok* ordered a 65 pax buffet dinner from a catering company at $1251.90 for her niece's birthday. She specifically requested for the caterer to provide a non-spicy fried seafood vermicelli dish and the caterer agreed. However, the dish cooked was spicy. Furthermore, the mixed vegetables stew in nyonya style was cooked using cabbages only. As a result, she felt that most of the children who attended the party were not able to eat well. For the unsatisfactory dishes provided by the catering company, Mdm Kuok requested for a refund of $300.

CASE negotiated with the company and both parties eventually agreed to a partial refund of $120 to Mdm Kuok as the final settlement.


*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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