Consumer Advisory – CASE alerts consumers against aggressive pressure sales tactics in the beauty industry
 

The Consumers Association of Singapore (“CASE”) would like to alert consumers against aggressive pressure sales tactics that are used by the beauty industry during purchase transactions. Consumers who do not wish to enter into a purchase transaction have the right to decline and walk away. Consumers who encounter such pressure sales tactics can approach CASE for assistance.

 

Background

In 2018, CASE received 1,829 complaints against the beauty industry. Specifically, 344 of these complaints were made by consumers who complained about alleged pressure sales tactics, which was a 18% increase from 2017.

 

In response to the consumer complaints, CASE had issued warning letters to entities that had complaints of pressure sales complaints alleged against them. CASE warned them on the number of complaints received by consumers and of their obligation under the Consumer Protection (Fair Trading) Act (“CPFTA”). Under the CPFTA, it is an unfair practice for a supplier to exert undue pressure or influence on a consumer to enter into a transaction. CASE had also entered into Voluntary Compliance Agreements (“VCAs”) with entities where they agree to cease the unfair practice.

 

Despite its intervention, CASE continued to receive pressure sales complaints against these entities:

(i) Ecoin.Sg C Pte. Ltd. / New Station 27 Pte. Ltd. (collectively “Ecoin”);

(ii) Joyre TCMedi Spa Pte. Ltd. / Jia Le Beauty Pte. Ltd. (collectively “Joyre”);

(iii) Nail Palace Pte. Ltd. (“Nail Palace”);

(iv) Salon One Beauty Salon Pte. Ltd. (“Salon One Beauty”); and

(v) Tokyo Bust Express Pte. Ltd. (“Tokyo Bust”).

 

The full list of companies associated with (i), (ii) and (iii) can be found in Appendix 1. The number of alleged pressure sales complaints received against these entities are found in Table 1 below.

 

Entity

No. of Alleged Pressure Sales Complaints Received

Ecoin.Sg C Pte. Ltd. / New Station 27 Pte. Ltd.

26

Joyre TCMedi Spa Pte. Ltd. / Jia Le Beauty Pte. Ltd.

33

Nail Palace Pte. Ltd.

29

Salon One Beauty Salon Pte. Ltd.

21

Tokyo Bust Express Pte. Ltd.

37

Table 1: Number of Alleged Pressure Sales Complaints Received against Each Entity from 1 January 2017 to 30 June 2019

 

Complaints in the Beauty Industry

CASE takes a serious view against entities who persist in egregious conduct in their push for a sale transaction. CASE intends to engage such entities with the view of entering into VCAs with them. CASE is also monitoring entities which have entered into VCAs very closely and will not hesitate to refer errant suppliers to the Competition and Consumer Commission of Singapore for investigation under the CPFTA. Consumers who encounter suppliers with egregious conduct can approach CASE for assistance.

 

Consumer Tips

Meanwhile, consumers who plan to purchase beauty services are advised to take note of the following:

  • Patronise a CaseTrust accredited spa and wellness businesses. These businesses offer a five-day cooling off period for consumers to seek a refund of unutilised services if they do not wish to proceed with the packages signed. These businesses also provide a stress-free treatment as they are not allowed to engage in sales pitches during the treatment.
  • Exercise your right and walk away from a dubious deal with unclear terms or aggressive pressure sales tactics. Be polite but firm when stating your refusal. You can consider bringing a friend or family member along and/or call the police if you are barred from leaving. Remember that you always have the right to walk away and should never be restrained from leaving.
  • If you start to feel overwhelmed, uneasy or intimidated during the sales pitch, request to stop the treatment session and leave the premises. Refrain from making any financial commitments.
  • Beware of “special discount” or “one-time only” offers. Staff may take the opportunity to push packages and leave little time for consideration.
  • Seek medical consultation. Before committing to any beauty treatment or packages, it is advisable to seek the opinion of a medical doctor. 
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