Case Studies For October 2018

Case Study #1

Mrs Chan* purchased a tempered glass basin, water heater and sink from a furniture store for $850 in total. The delivery was arranged for one month later. When the items were delivered, Mrs Chan discovered that the basin was not made of tempered glass, the heater was of a different brand and the sink was yellowish in colour and full of scratches. She requested for the store to replace the items but the staff claimed that the sink and heater were out of stock.

Under the Lemon Law, consumers have the right to ask for repair or replacement of an item that does not conform to contract or is of unsatisfactory standards at the time of delivery. If repair or replacement is not possible, consumers can ask for a reduction in price or a refund. CASE negotiated with the business and Mrs Chan was eventually offered a $200 discount for the purchase.

Case Study #2

Ms Sun* bought a massage package for $3,000. She visited the spa for a massage several times. However, on each occasion, three to four of the staff would continuously ask her to sign up for new packages while she was lying unclothed on the massage bed. The longest time that she was kept in the treatment room was for three hours. To date, she had signed up for over $10,000 worth of packages. As she felt uncomfortable with the spa’s sales tactics, she requested to terminate her package for a full refund of the unutilised sessions.

Under the Consumer Protection (Fair Trading) Act (CPFTA), it is an unfair practice to pressure a consumer to enter a transaction involving goods or services. CASE negotiated with the spa and was able to assist Ms Sun to recover $7,000 in cash and a separate $6,000 worth of beauty products as the final settlement.

Case Study #3

Mr Hong* was approached by a salesperson who applied a body scrub on his hand without consent while passing him a product sample. He followed the salesperson into the shop to wash away the product, but instead, she held him back and promoted the body scrub to him. Mr Hong eventually agreed to buy the body scrub and paid $130 with his credit card. Thereafter, the salesperson continued promoting other beauty products without giving him the body scrub or returning his credit card. Mr Hong was kept at the shop for more than three hours while the salesperson promoted the products and swiped his card until it was maxed out. Mr Hong requested to return the products for a refund.

CASE highlighted to the salon that it is an unfair practice under the CPFTA to pressure a consumer to purchase goods or services. The salon eventually agreed to refund $1,300 to Mr Hong.

Case Study #4

Mr Tan* agreed to buy a used car for $36,800. Some weeks later, he contacted the dealer for the Vehicle Sales Agreement, certificate of insurance and loan document and realised that the dealer was still advertising the car online. Subsequently, he learned that the road tax had expired and that the car ownership had yet to be transferred to his name. Mr Tan requested for the car dealer to expedite the transfer of ownership and to provide him with the necessary documents expeditiously, but the business was not very forthcoming.

CASE contacted the car dealer and was able to negotiate for a satisfactory settlement. The car dealer promptly transferred ownership of car to Mr Tan and paid for renewal of the road tax.

*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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