Case Studies For August 2018

Case Study #1

In May 2018, Mr Ho* was approached by a salesperson who handed him some free product samples. He initially wanted to walk away but was persuaded by the salesperson to enter the shop. At the shop, several sales assistants gathered around Mr Ho and pressured him to buy some beauty products. He eventually relented and paid $750 for two items. Thereafter, Mr Ho was led into a consultation room. The salesperson lathered a cream on his face without his consent and told him to pay another $2,760 for the item.

Under the Consumer Protection (Fair Trading) Act, it is an unfair practice to take advantage of a consumer by exerting undue pressure on the consumer to enter into a transaction. CASE contacted the company and Mr Ho was able to return the beauty products for a full refund.

Case Study #2

Mr Teng* purchased a mobility scooter for $3,000. One month later, the scooter broke down and he requested for the company to replace the defective battery and the faulty indicator lights under the warranty given. The company agreed to replace one battery. However, the scooter broke down again sometime later. The company agreed to repair the scooter within two weeks but failed to do so. Mr Teng lost confidence in the company and requested to approach a different company for the purchase of two new batteries.

Upon CASE’s intervention, the company agreed to compensate $400 to Mr Teng to offset the cost of replacing the batteries. 

Case Study #3

In May 2018, Ms Lin* signed up for a no lock-in mobile plan contract with a mobile service operator. However, the operator provided her with a recycled number, even though she had specifically requested for a new number. In addition, it was advertised that the data speed would be 4G, but the actual speed was only 3G. Hence, she requested for cancellation of the contract a week later. The operator agreed to cancel her contract provided that Ms Lin pay $70 for the first month of use. However, two invoices were subsequently sent to Ms Lin with accumulated charges of $140 for two months (May and June). She requested for a refund for the second month but to no avail.

Ms Lin approached CASE for assistance on her dispute. Upon CASE’s intervention, the operator eventually agreed to refund $70 to Ms Lin for the second month.

Case Study #4

In August 2017, Mr Wong* visited an employment agency to hire a foreign domestic worker (FDW). The agency highly recommended a FDW who had two years of working experience in Singapore and had good housekeeping skills. He agreed and paid around $2,800 for the agency and placement fees. After the FDW started work, Mr Wong noticed that the FDW’s basic housekeeping and communication skills were unsatisfactory and that she behaved irresponsibly. Hence, he requested for replacement of the FDW. Thereafter, the FDW refused to work and ran away to the agency a few weeks later. Subsequently, the agency pressed for a maid transfer but Mr Wong felt that the replacements offered were not suitable and requested to terminate the contract for a pro-rated refund of the placement and agency fees.

CASE negotiated with the agency and was eventually able to secure a pro-rated refund of the placement fees (i.e. $640) for Mr Wong. 

*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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