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Mon, Jul 15 2024, 2:21:47Login ] [ Contact Forum Admin ] [ Main index ] [ Post a new message ] [ Search | Check update time | Archives: 12345678[9]10 ]
Subject: CPFTA - Effective date : 1 Mar 2004


Author:
George
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Date Posted: Tue, May 03 2005, 16:56:34

Hi friends,

From the queries I have obtained from people who have been misrepresented, lied to and cheated by certain timeshare companies and holiday clubs in Singapore I would like to highlight some of the salient matters regarding the Consumer Protection Fair Trading Act. Firstly, you can go to CASE for help if you purchased the Timeshare or Holiday Club membership on or after 1 Mar 2004 (effective date for CPFTA). People who have bought the membership prior to this date and who feel there have been cheated or misrepresented should make a stand by consulting a lawyer. If u need help to find a suitable lawyer let me know.

What constitutes unfair practice as defined by the CPFTA :

a. To do or say anything or omit doing or saying anything, if as a result a consumer might reasonably be deceived or misled.

b. To make a false claim.c. To take advantage of a consumer if the supplier knows or ought to know that the consumer:

(i) Is not in a position to protect his own interests. For example if the consumer is mentally handicapped.

(ii)Is not reasonably able to understand the character, nature, language or effect of the transaction or any other matter related to the transaction.

(iii) Or to commit any of the 20 unfair practices specified in the Second Schedule of the Act.

The 20 unfair practices specified under the Act are:

1. Making false claim about a product.

2. Claiming that goods are form a certain country when they are not.

3. Claiming that used goods are new.

4. Lying about the history or extent to which second-hand goods have been used.

5. Falsely claiming that goods are available in large quantities to attract buyers when there is actually only a limited number.

6. Telling the customer that the product he bought needs repairing when there is no such need.

7. Claiming that the product prices have been discounted when they have not.

8. Charging a price higher than what was estimated by the seller, unless both parties had agreed upon the final price earlier.

9. Claiming that a product comes with a warranty when it does not.

10. Representing that the seller has the authority to close a deal when he does not.

11. Bullying a consumer by using oppressive terms in the sale contract.

12. Using undue pressure to get the person to buy items.

13. Giving out false vouchers.

14. Using a scientific report to sell goods without stating that it is an advertisement.

15. Falsely claiming that someone else is about to buy the goods to put pressure on the consumer.

16. Saying that there are facilities where a consumer can go to get his items repaired, when there are none.

17. Falsely claiming that gifts will be given out with the sale of a product.

18. Stating that a sale is for a fixed period, when it goes on for much longer.

19. Giving false reasons for selling goods cheaply.

20. Using small print to hide facts from consumers.

Time Limit:

The consumer can commence action not more than 1 year from the date of the occurrence of the last material event on which the action is based OR not more than 1 year when he becomes aware of the unfair practice.

Cooling period involving Timeshare :

If the consumer wishes, he will be able to cancel the timeshare contract within a 3-day cooling period excluding Saturdays, Sundays and Public Holidays.To clarify the procedure for cancellation of such contracts, timeshare traders are to provide the consumer information notice (CIN). This notice will inform consumers of their rights to cancel the purchase during the cooling-off period.

What can CASE do for the consumer if a supplier is found to have carried out an unfair trade practice?

The first step is that the consumer can present his dissatisfaction to the supplier. If it does not work, the consumer can seek the assistance of CASE Consumer Relations Department. The Consumer Relations Officer (CRO) will handle the case and pursue the matter with the supplier in question on your behalf. Because this is a civil matter, you will need to pay a small annual membership fee ($25) to join CASE and a case-by-case administrative fee. However, if CASE takes up a VCA (Voluntary Compliance Agreement) or injunction (order by the court to restrain dishonest suppliers from engaging in, or further engaging in unfair practices) against a supplier in the general consumer interest to stop its unfair practice, there will be no need for a consumer who has a complaint of such unfair practice against the same supplier to be a member of CASE. Membership in CASE is only required if you want CASE to represent you to resolve a dispute between the supplier and you. Finally, if the matter cannot be resolved by mediation, it is open to the consumer to commence legal action in the Small Claims Tribunal or Subordinates Courts. You can apply to the Small Claims Tribunal for amounts below $20,000; any sum above this figure will be heard in the Subordinates Courts. The CPFTA, however does not cover any quantum claims above $20,000. This means that even if you have a claim of above $20,000 against the supplier arising from an unfair practice, you can still make a claim against the supplier under the Act but you claim will have to be limited to $20,000.

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Replies:
[> Subject: CPFTA - Effective date : 1 Mar 2004


Author:
George
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Date Posted: Thu, May 05 2005, 16:03:36

Please see TNP article on 5 MAY 2005 - 'Case recovers record $2.6m in refunds' - by Kor Kian Beng (Page 4).

The article states that the highest amount recovered is from timeshare firms and car dealers. According to CASE executive director Seah Seng Choon, "The CPFTA has certainly enhanced the protection for consumers and previously grey areas have now become black and white.
"For example, we were able to get the direct sales and timeshare companies to refund to consumers quite easily for breaches relating to the cooling-off period, which is provided for under the Act."
Timeshare companies accounted for $2.1 million in refunds last year - over 80 per cent of Case's total refund amount of $2.59 million.
In 2003, timeshare companies had also accounted for a major portion of refunds with nearly $1.5 mllion - around 66 per cent of the total $2.26 million amount.

REPAID IN FULL

One consumer that Case helped was Mr James Zhang, 30. The engineer had forked out $16,800 for a timeshare package last December. Two weeks later, Mr Zhang learnt that the company would not be able to deliver on some of the terms of the contract. He decided to back out. But when he sought a refund, the timeshare company refused. The dispute dragged on for nearly two months. Eventually, the disgruntled consumer went to Case for help in late February this year. Within two weeks, Case was able to resolve the dispute. It noted that that the consumer had not been briefed by the company on the three-day cooling-off period he was entitled to under the CPFTA regulations.
Case managed to get the company to refund Mr Zhang the full sum of $16,800 at the end of March.
Said Mr Zhang : "I'm very happy with Case's efforts and help.
"When I went to Case for help, I was expecting to get no more than 80 per cent refund.
"Now I know who to turn to should I encounter unfair retailers in the future."

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[> Subject: 3 days cooling off period


Author:
Rashid
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Date Posted: Sat, May 07 2005, 21:12:45

I feel the 3 days cooling off period does not help most victims. We only realise what was verbally promised would later be denied when we asked about them weeks or months or even years later. Take the cashback scheme some are offering for example. Also, we would probably not book a resort within the three days, so how to tell within the 3 days we were misled? Trying to book a resort through the timeshare exchange program is not so hassle free as presented to us before we sign the contract.

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[> [> Subject: 3 days cooling off period


Author:
sgwatchdog
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Date Posted: Sat, May 14 2005, 22:12:43

3 [working] days cooling off period only starts if timeshare company does 3 things
1. give u notice of cancellation form
2. fill in part a of the form
3. explain the 3 day cooling off period to u

if not, the 3 days will not begin to run

Consumer Protection (Fair Trading) Act
http://statutes.agc.gov.sg/non_version/cgi-bin/cgi_retrieve.pl?actno=REVED-52A&doctitle=CONSUMER%20PROTECTION%20%28FAIR%20TRADING%29%20ACT%0a&date=latest&method=part

Consumer Protection (Fair Trading) (Cancellation of Contracts) Regulations
http://www.mti.gov.sg/public/PDF/CMT/frm_LEG_CPFTA_Act_Canc_Reg.pdf

CPFTA FAQ
http://www.mti.gov.sg/public/FAQ/frm_FAQ_Default.asp?sid=2&cid=1853

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