case

RENOVATION CHEATS GETS ALL THE MONEY, CUSTOMERS ARE LOSERS

The recent report on the family that ran into issues with their renovation contractors after paying $38,000 is a familiar story that seems to happen time and again. Every few months, you will have heard or read about someone who had contractor woes, where money has been paid, but the works either not done, or not completed, or worse still, no of the required and agreed standards.

Normally when this happens, it is the customers who stand to lose. They have to shell out a few thousand dollars to hire these contractors in the first place. But when work is not done or completed, and the contractors run away, there is no way the customers can get the money back. There may be court rulings to award the damages and pay back back money owed to customer, but this is hard to enforce. The contractor may just remain uncontactable, their shops abandoned, and money paid disappeared along with the contractors.

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TIME FOR CASE TO STEP IN & DEAL WITH CALIFORNIA FITNESS GYM?

California Fitness Singapore has issued a "no comments" directive to its staff. Staff of the once popular gym chain were told not to provide any comments to questions on whether it will also shut down the remaining branches here. The image shows a FAQ that was issued to their stuff.

California Fitness Singapore remains tight-lipped about its business developments in Singapore. Members are stuck in a limbo as they cannot terminate their membership due to the "Terms and Conditions" that were stipulated when they signed up with the gym. Yet, the "sign-up for membership"page on the company's site is still in place and it continues to promote the gym's packages.

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ROGUE INTERIOR DESIGNER PAID $63K BY CLIENTS, BUT REFUSES TO WORK

Matthew Allan and his wife had paid $63,000 to an interior design firm, Sense Ideas Design, to renovate their new three-bedroom apartment. Mr Allan, an Australian with a Singapore permanent residence here, said that he had paid the firm up to 90% of the total renovation costs.

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CASE WATCHDOG ACCUSE PETROL COMPANIES OF PROFITEERING FROM PETROL DUTY HIKE

Noting that some of the petrol prices were raised beyond the levels of the duty hike, Mr Seah Seng Choon, executive director of the Consumers Association of Singapore (CASE), said it was understandable for the petrol companies to increase prices following the levy hike. But he pointed out: “They should not increase more than what the tax requires them to and if they do that, they are profiteering from the situation.”

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PEOPLE'S PARK COMPLEX: ANOTHER HOTBED FOR BUSINESS SCAMS?

The management of People's Park Complex said that for the past two years, it has taken measures to minimise the errant sales tactics seen in other shopping centres. While the problem remains, it has been "gradually reduced lately", the Management Corporation said. The management said it has been working closely with the relevant authorities, including CASE, police and Singapore Tourism Board to reduce the incidents of such practices. "(While) People's Park Complex may not have eradicated the problem completely, at least it has been noted that the malpractice of sales tactics by these operators here has been gradually reduced lately," it said in its statement.

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USED-CAR DEALERS SOUR OVER LEMON LAW

In the latest reported case, Speedo Motoring was ordered to pay businessman Ong Gek Sing $4,500 for a battery. The battery had failed two months after the company sold a second-hand Lexus GS 450 Hybrid Super Lux to Mr Ong for $138,000 in 2012. The sale came with a $1,800 discount as Mr Ong had said no to an extended warranty. The tribunal ruled, however, that although Mr Ong could claim for the defective battery, he could not do so for the tyres and brakes, which had suffered "wear and tear". Speedo Motoring appealed to the High Court, but lost its case.

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Consumer complaints hit record level high in 2013: CASE

Complaints to the Consumers Association of Singapore (CASE) soared to a record high last year, the watchdog group said today (Jan 30). A total of 29,254 complaints were filed with CASE last year, up 13.7 per cent from the 25,733 recorded in 2012. CASE helped consumers recover S$2,356,072.70 in the successfully resolution of 77.5 per cent of the cases it handled last year, up from the 75.5 per cent rate the year before.

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