Case Studies For April 2018

Case Study #1

In September 2017, Joseph* purchased a backpack for $60. In less than three months, the threads adjoining one of the zip seams got tangled in the zip track. Hence, the zipper on the backpack could not work properly. Joseph returned to the shop but was informed to check with the manufacturer of the backpack instead. He disagreed and requested for the retailer to repair the defective backpack or replace it with a new one.

Under the Lemon Law, retailers are obliged to repair or replace a defective product. If this is not possible, or will cause significant inconvenience to the consumer, they are obliged to reduce the price or provide a refund for the product. CASE highlighted the Lemon Law to the retailer, and the consumer was able to get a replacement backpack.

Case Study #2

In June 2017, Thomas* purchased a laptop for $750. After the purchase, he noticed that the laptop was slow to start up. Hence, he sent the laptop to the authorised service center to update the software and change the motherboard and hard drive under the one-year warranty provided. When he went to collect the repaired laptop, he noticed that the screen was scratched. Hence, he requested for a replacement laptop.

CASE highlighted the Lemon Law to the retailer, who agreed to provide Thomas with a full refund.

Case Study #3

In June 2016, Angeline* bought a pair of shoes from an online website. She was not aware that she would be automatically enrolled in the monthly VIP membership program if she purchased any item from the site. In December 2017, Angeline discovered that she had been billed $50 by the company when she checked her credit card statement. She reviewed her past credit card statements and realised that she had been billed a total of $950 ($50 per month) by the company for the past 19 months. Angeline claimed that she was not aware of the automatic VIP membership enrollment and had not bought anything from the website since. She requested to cancel the membership and seek a full refund of $950.

Angeline was able to reverse some of the charges through a chargeback request by her bank. She received the remaining $680 through assistance from CASE.

Case Study #4

In March 2017, William* purchased a bench made from ash wood for $315. The bench was delivered several months later as agreed. However, the delivered bench was made out of walnut wood instead of ash wood. The company subsequently informed William that the walnut bench was a temporary loan for the ash wood bench, which was out of stock. Despite repeated correspondences, there was no confirmed delivery of the ash wood bench for the next two months and the company was slow in their replies. William thus requested for a refund of his money.

CASE highlighted to the company that the Lemon Law covers goods that do not conform to contract at the time of delivery. The company eventually agreed to provide a full refund to William.

*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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