SINGAPORE: The Consumers Association of Singapore (CASE) issued a warning on Tuesday (Feb.23) against a vendor selling alkaline water systems after several consumers filed complaints that they were making misleading claims and not responding.
CASE received 86 consumer complaints against Triple Lifestyle Marketing between January 1 of last year and January 31 of this year, according to a press release.
Triple Lifestyle Marketing sells long term maintenance packages for alkaline water systems through door-to-door sales. Customers pay around S $ 3,000 for a package in most cases, with the option to prepay or pay monthly installments.
In return for signing the packages, consumers will receive a water dispenser, a water filter system and regular replacement of the water filter free of charge, according to CASE. As part of the service contract, the company must also repair the water dispenser or the water filter system in the event of defects.
Most of the complaints related to cases where consumers claimed the company either did not respond to repeated attempts to contact them to arrange service requests for replacing or repairing faulty water filter products, or failed to show up for appointments.
“In some cases, Triple Lifestyle Marketing has not provided a replacement after collecting the defective products,” said CASE.
“This is in spite of Triple Lifestyle Marketing’s assurances during the sales process that they would fix the water dispenser or water filter system if it failed.”
Customers also reported that the company “made other misleading claims during the sales process.”
“For example, consumers reported that Triple Lifestyle Marketing told them they could pay for the packages in installments, but then billed them the full amount up front,” said CASE.
It added that some customers have also complained about receiving used water dispensers or replacements for water filters if they had not been notified beforehand.
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WARNING LETTER TO THE COMPANY: CASE
In response to the complaints, a warning letter was sent to Triple Lifestyle Marketing last July, CASE said.
“CASE had informed the company about the number of complaints received from consumers and their obligations under the Consumer Protection Act (fair trading). CASE also asked the company to stop the unfair practices, ”it says.
Under the Consumer Protection Act (Fair Trading), it is an unfair practice for a supplier to do or say, or to omit or say something when doing so could reasonably mislead or mislead a consumer.
It is also an unfair practice for a supplier to depict that goods are new or unused when they are not, and the availability of facilities to repair goods or to provide replacement parts for goods when they are not.
However, the association stated that it had continued to receive complaints against Triple Lifestyle Marketing despite the warning letter.
CASE then asked the company to enter into a Voluntary Compliance Agreement (VCA) under the law to end its unfair practices and compensate affected consumers.
“Despite repeated commitments by CASE since September 2020, Triple Lifestyle Marketing has not signed the VCA,” said CASE.
“CASE will continue to monitor the complaints received against Triple Lifestyle Marketing and is reviewing further measures against the company that are provided for in the Consumer Protection Act (Fair Trading) to protect consumer interests.”
It also encouraged consumers to contact CASE for assistance when they encounter such practices.