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When you are shopping, you are sure to come across offers which are too-good-to-be-true deals, just ignore them. It will be very expensive to buy those items. All those cheats use bullying antics towards aggrieved buyers, and if you are in a country which is corrupt, there is nothing you can do to have your money back, because those thugs have friends at high places. Economic corruption and political thuggery are most common in those countries.

On the whole, Singapore has a very good reputation. But there are still cases of swindling going on. Recently, China warned its citizens of electronic scams in Singapore. Whether buyers have a legitimate case in seeking refunds or exchanges in Singapore is not very clear. We do have a Small claims tribunal. But you need to pay for that service and there is no guarantee you will have the money back, assuming that you stay in Singapore long enough for your claim to be heard. Some people give up and don’t bother with civil recourse, because of more money and time factors.

The police don’t want to spend limited resources chasing after small things. Perhaps the higher authorities will make it mandatory for the police one day. The police must be encouraged to take over when there is evidence of wrong doing.

Some retailers agreed to give refund to aggrieved consumers, on papers. They can refuse to follow the terms of the agreements; those papers they signed are only for display purposes.

I was also told it was costly and ineffective measures to hand over the case to Consumers Association of Singapore (CASE).

Fly-by-night companies will operate under a different name the next morning. The government must send out a strong deterrent message, or

more powers must be appended to (CASE)? Do you have an informed group of buyers who understand their rights and responsibilities?

 

How do tourists seek recourse if they are here for only one or two days? It will be more effective if a tourist who comes across a dishonest deal, can refer that case to the police directly.

In Australia, a company which infringed the consumer protection law can be fined up to A$1.1 million, and for an individual retailer, up to A$220 000.00.  Does your country have this law? In Australia and the US, this law applies to the brick-and-mortar shops as well as the digital ones.

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Comment by Poh Tiong Ho on December 7, 2014 at 11:48pm

When you go shopping, be careful with offers which are too-good-to-be-true.

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