Case Studies For September 2017

Case Study #1

In January 2017, Mdm Jin* visited a slimming centre for a free trial session. She entered a room and was pressured to sign up for a 12-session slimming package before she could even try out the free trial. She gave in after an hour and paid $4,200 for the package. In May 2017, Mdm Jin was approached by a different staff during her eighth slimming session. The staff promoted an upgrade of her slimming package throughout the session. In order to move on to the next step of the treatment, Mdm Jin eventually agreed to upgrade the package. She felt dissatisfied with the company’s sales tactics and requested to cancel the slimming package and get back a refund of her unutilised sessions.

It is an unfair practice under the Consumer Protection (Fair Trading) Act (CPFTA) to exert undue pressure on a consumer to enter into a transaction for goods or services. CASE highlighted the CPFTA to the company and was successfully able to negotiate for a partial refund of $1,000 for Mdm Jin.

Case Study #2

In April 2017, Ms Fazilah* ordered three pairs of gold earrings from a jewellery shop and paid a total of $2,500. The jeweller agreed to design the earrings according to a photo sent by Ms Fazilah. She received the earrings after two months. Upon opening the box, Ms Fazilah noticed that the earrings were visibly different from the design as they lacked a central cone shape. Furthermore, the weight of one pair of gold earrings was found to be 0.07grams less than what was specified in the receipt. Ms Fazilah requested for a replacement, failing which a refund, but the jeweller was not forthcoming.

Under the Lemon Law, goods that are of unsatisfactory standards or do not conform to contract are deemed as “defective” goods, and consumers are entitled to repair, replacement, reduction in price or refund for such goods. CASE highlighted the Lemon Law to the jeweller and was able to assist Ms Fazilah to get back a refund of $2,500.

Case Study #3

In March 2017, Mr Fong* paid $2,400 to a chiropractor for 24 sessions of neck and lumbar decompression, 12 sessions of rehab and some health products. After three weeks of treatments, he felt pain from his lower back right down to his feet. Due to the discomfort, Mr Fong consulted a doctor and was prescribed medication to sooth the pain and inflammation, and was advised to stop the chiropractic treatment as well. The chiropractor agreed to provide a refund for the unutilised treatment sessions and health products, but insisted on applying a $300 cancellation fee. Mr Fong disagreed and sought CASE’s assistance with his dispute.

CASE negotiated with the chiropractor on Mr Fong’s behalf and was able to secure a refund of $2,300 for him.

Case Study #4

In June 2017, Ms Lee* signed up for a 15 session facial package at a spa and paid $1,900. After signing the contract, she was told by the consultant that she would be entitled to VIP membership if she signed up for another five packages at $700. The consultant mentioned that Ms Lee could pay over two years by installment. Ms Lee agreed, and requested for the consultant to void the first receipt and reissue a receipt for $2,600 with monthly payment of $108.33. However, the consultant swiped the full amount from her credit card. The consultant was not forthcoming when Ms Lee requested for a refund.

CASE negotiated with the spa and was able to get back a full refund of $2,600 for Ms Lee.

*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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