Case Study #1
In November 2016, Mr Siew* visited a handphone shop to enquire about a secondhand smartphone. He was offered a smartphone with six months accessories warranty and a one year phone warranty at $220. After using the phone for a week, he found out that the phone was an export set. Mr Siew felt misled about the purchase. He would not have bought the phone if he had known that it was an export set with no local warranty. He requested to exchange the smartphone for a different model with local warranty but to no avail.
CASE highlighted to the company that it is an unfair practice under the Consumer Protection (Fair Trading) Act (CPFTA) to make misleading claims in relation to a consumer transaction. The company eventually agreed to refund $220 to Mr Siew as the final settlement.
Case Study #2
In August 2015, Ms May* bought a wheelchair for $1,400. In February 2016, the wheelchair was sent back to the company for repair as the wheels were defective. Despite the repair, the same defect occurred in March 2016. The defective wheelchair was sent overseas for repairs but the vendor was unable to confirm that the same issue would not resurface. Furthermore, the handle of the wheelchair was damaged during the shipping. The company loaned a temporary wheelchair (with some wear and tear) to Ms May, and suggested that she either keep the loaned wheelchair or take back the repaired wheelchair again. Ms May was not satisfied and requested assistance from CASE.
CASE highlighted to the company that under the Lemon Law, businesses are obligated to reduce the price or provide a refund for a defective good if repair or replacement is not possible. Both parties eventually agreed on a settlement whereby Ms May would keep the loaned wheelchair at a reduced price of $700.
Case Study #3
In December 2014, Mr Loh* purchased a tablet with 24 months extended warranty for $620. In May 2016, the tablet could not be charged and switched on. Mr Loh thus brought the tablet to the service centre and paid $120 for a new battery. The issue reoccurred another three times, with the tablet heating up and the battery draining quickly. However, the staff from the service centre claimed that the tablet was fully functioning and only offered Mr Loh an additional three months warranty. Till date, the battery for the tablet remains defective.
CASE highlighted to the company that under the Lemon Law, businesses are obligated to reduce the price or provide a refund for a defective good if repair or replacement is not possible. The company thus provided a replacement tablet for Mr Loh after CASE’s intervention.
Case Study #4
In May 2016, Mdm Ang* purchased a handbag for $180. She did not use the handbag until almost two months later. Upon using the handbag, she noticed that the colour would rub off around the handles and other parts leaving a white base visible on the surface of the handbag. Mdm Ang contacted the shop for assistance but was told that she would need to pay about USD100 (not inclusive of shipping fees) to send the handbag overseas for the repair. Her request for exchange to a new handbag was denied.
CASE highlighted to the company that under the Lemon Law, businesses are obligated to repair, replace, reduce the price or provide a refund of a defective good. Upon CASE’s intervention, the shop agreed to provide a full refund to Mdm Ang.