PROTECTION AGAINST HARD SELLING/HARASSMENT IN THE DIRECT SALES INDUSTRY
 
Faced with a persistent salesperson who contacts you repeatedly, keeps hard selling his products or services and/or refuses to leave your house no matter what? Fear not, here are several actions you may be able to take under the Singapore Law.
 
1. PROTECTION ORDER (PO)
Under the Protection from Harassment Act 2014, it is an offence to use any threatening, abusive or insulting words or behaviour to cause distress to the other person. Hence, when faced with an overzealous salesperson who continues (after expressly being told not to do so) to contact the consumer or engage in a set of conduct that constitutes harassment, either online or offline, consumers may apply to the District Courts of Singapore for a Protection Order against the perpetrator.
 
Consumers can apply for a PO in person using the relevant court’s forms. Consumers are also able to pursue the remedies and procedures under the Act without legal representation if they wish to.
 
2. STATUTORY TORT
The consumer may also bring civil proceedings against the business for offences under the Protection from Harassment Act 2014.
 
3. CONSUMER PROTECTION (FAIR TRADING) ACT (CPFTA)
Under the Consumer Protection (Fair Trading) (Cancellation of Contracts) Regulations 2009, all direct sales contract are subjected to a five (5) days (excludes Saturdays, Sundays and Public Holidays) cooling off period. Hence, the consumer may return the product and cancel the contract within 5 days after the date of the contract or if the consumer was not informed of his rights, 5 days after being informed of the cooling off period.
 
In addition, it is an unfair practice for a salesperson to exert undue pressure or influence on the consumer to enter into a transaction involving goods and services. This is a breach of the Consumer Protection (Fair Protection) Act. Consumers should report such instances to CASE.
 
4. TRESPASS
If the salesperson continues to remain on the consumers’ premises after being expressly informed to leave, the consumer may take action against the salesperson for trespassing on the consumer’s property. However, consumers may wish to note that the amount of damages that the Courts will award for such instances of trespass is likely to be nominal in value.
 
DISCLAIMER: The following information is for educational and information purposes only and is provided “AS IS”. The information does not constitute legal advice and we are not acting as your solicitor. Legal advice must be tailored to the specific circumstances of each individual case and the information may not be an appropriate fit for your case. Please note that the information provided should not be used as a substitute for obtaining proper legal advice for the matter.
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