SINGAPORE: The Consumers Association of Singapore (CASE) issued an alert on Tuesday February 23 against a vendor selling alkaline water systems, after several consumers filed complaints, claiming they made misleading statements and failed to respond .
CASE received 86 consumer complaints against Triple Lifestyle Marketing between January 1 of last year and January 31 of this year, it said in a press release.
The company, Triple Lifestyle Marketing, sells long-term maintenance service packages for alkaline water systems through door-to-door sales. Customers pay around S $ 3,000 for a plan in most cases, with the option to prepay or make monthly installments.
In exchange for signing the packages, consumers will receive a free water dispenser, water filtration system and periodic water filter replacements, CASE said. As part of the service contract, the company is also obliged to repair the water dispenser or the water filtration system, if there are any defects.
Most of the complaints involved instances where consumers alleged that the company did not respond to repeated attempts to contact them to arrange service requests for water filter replacement or repair of defective products, or failed to show up. Appointment.
“In some cases, Triple Lifestyle Marketing has not provided replacement products after recovering the defective products,” CASE said.
“This was despite statements from Triple Lifestyle Marketing during the sales process that they would repair water dispensers or water filtration systems if they failed.”
Customers also reported that the company “made other misleading statements during the sales process.”
“For example, consumers alleged that Triple Lifestyle Marketing told them they could pay for the plans in installments, but then billed them for the full amount up front,” CASE said.
He added that a few customers also complained that they had received used water dispensers or water filter replacements when they had not been communicated before.
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WARNING LETTER ISSUED TO THE COMPANY: CASE
A warning letter was sent to Triple Lifestyle Marketing in July of last year in response to the complaints, CASE said.
“CASE had informed the company of the number of complaints received by consumers and their obligations under the Consumer Protection Act (Fair Trade). CASE had also urged the company to stop the unfair practices, ”he said.
Under the Consumer Protection (Fair Trade) Act, it is unfair for a supplier to do or say anything, or to omit to do or say anything, if as a result a consumer could reasonably be deceived or misled.
It is also an unfair practice for a supplier to declare that the goods are new or unused if they are not, and to represent the availability of facilities for the repair of the goods or of spare parts for the goods if not. is not the case.
However, the association said it continues to receive complaints against Triple Lifestyle Marketing despite the warning letter.
CASE then asked the company to enter into a Voluntary Compliance Agreement (VCA) as required by law to end its unfair practices and to compensate affected consumers.
“Despite repeated commitments from CASE since September 2020, Triple Lifestyle Marketing has not signed the VCA,” CASE said.
“CASE will continue to monitor complaints received against Triple Lifestyle Marketing and assess further action to be taken against the company, in accordance with the Consumer Protection (Fair Trade) Act, to protect the interests of consumers.”
He also encouraged consumers to contact CASE for assistance if they encounter such practices.