The amount of protection you receive as a customer varies across the world. Whereas in some countries, such as the UK, you receive an incredibly high level of right through the Consumer Rights Act, in other countries, you receive far less. However, one country where this statement isn’t strictly correct is Singapore. If you’re heading to Singapore, here’s what you need to know about your consumer rights.
The Consumer Protection (Fair Trading) Act
If you have reason to believe that you’ve either been conned or deceived in Singapore, then you have no reason to worry. That’s because you’re protected by the Consumer Protection (Fair Trading) Act. This Act aims to protect consumers against unfair practices and provides consumers with additional rights in respect to goods that do not conform to contract. It was last updated in 2013.
You can find more information through the Ministry of Trade and Industry, if you require it.
How CASE Can Help You
If you’re struggling with consumer rights, then there are two ports of call.
Firstly, if you’re a local consumer, then you can turn to CASE, the Consumers Association of Singapore. CASE is a non-profit, non-governmental organisation committed to protecting customer interests, and they are committed to creating a consumer friendly Singapore. Back in 2004, they were one of the main driving forces behind the creation of the Consumer Protection (Fair Trading) Act.
If you’re a tourist, then the Singapore Tourism Board will be able to assist you. Both of these options are non-legal, meaning that they often require the least hassle. They should always be pursued before legal options are taken. These will provide you with the best chance of your dispute being solved quickly, without the need for lawyers or the courts.
Or the Small Claims Tribunal
If you try CASE or the Singapore Tourism Board without success, then you can try the Small Claims Tribunal next. However, this should only be done if the above is unsuccessful.
It’s highly likely that the Small Claims Tribunal will be able to assist you with your claim, as long as your claim is below $10,000. In addition, you must lodge your claim within one year of the action that resulted in the claim (you can consult this checklist for further information and eligibility criteria). You can download all of the information you need online here, or visit them in person and discuss lodging a claim.
Failing that, Seek Legal Advice from Experts
If your claim doesn’t fit within the remit of CASE, the Singapore Tourism Board, or the Small Claims Tribunal, then you should consider legal action to enforce your rights. If you do choose this course of action, then it’s best to carefully consider the options available to you. As is the case in any country, you’re best off selecting a lawyer with the expertise in that nation, such as Wither Lawyers. This way, they’ll be able to give you an honest appraisal of your chances of success.
If you follow this escalation process, then you should have no problems in ensuring that you receive your customer rights while in Singapore, so follow the process carefully.