SINGAPORE: The Customers Affiliation of Singapore (CASE) on Tuesday (Feb 23) issued an alert in opposition to a vendor promoting alkaline water programs, after a number of customers lodged complaints saying it made deceptive claims and was unresponsive.
CASE obtained 86 shopper complaints in opposition to Triple Life-style Advertising and marketing between Jan 1 final 12 months and Jan 31 this 12 months, it stated in a information launch.
The corporate, Triple Life-style Advertising and marketing, sells long-term upkeep service packages for alkaline water programs by way of door-to-door gross sales. Prospects pay about S$3,000 for a bundle typically, with the choice to pay upfront or make month-to-month installments.
In return for signing the packages, customers will obtain a water dispenser, a water filtration system and periodic water filter replacements freed from cost, CASE stated. As a part of the service settlement, the corporate can also be required to restore the water dispenser or water filtration system, if there are defects.
A lot of the complaints concerned situations the place customers alleged that the corporate was both unresponsive to repeated makes an attempt to contact them to rearrange for service requests for a water filter substitute or restore of defective merchandise, or didn’t present up for appointments.
“In some circumstances, Triple Life-style Advertising and marketing didn’t present replacements after they’d collected the defective merchandise,” CASE stated.
“This was regardless of representations by Triple Life-style Advertising and marketing throughout the gross sales course of that they’d restore the water dispensers or water filtration programs if defects occurred.”
Prospects additionally reported that the corporate “made different deceptive claims throughout the gross sales course of”.
“As an illustration, customers alleged that Triple Life-style Advertising and marketing informed them that they’ll pay for the packages by way of installments, however subsequently charged them the total quantity upfront,” CASE stated.
It added that a number of prospects additionally complained of receiving used water dispensers or water filter replacements when this was not beforehand communicated to them.
WARNING LETTER ISSUED TO COMPANY: CASE
A warning letter was issued to Triple Life-style Advertising and marketing in July final 12 months in response to the complaints, CASE stated.
“CASE had knowledgeable the corporate on the variety of complaints obtained by customers, and their obligations underneath the Client Safety (Truthful Buying and selling) Act. CASE had additionally urged the corporate to stop the unfair practices,” it stated.
Underneath the Client Safety (Truthful Buying and selling) Act, it’s an unfair apply for a provider to do or say something, or omit to do or say something, if in consequence a shopper would possibly fairly be deceived or misled.
Additionally it is an unfair apply for a provider to characterize that items are new or unused if they aren’t, and to characterize the provision of amenities for restore of products or of spare elements for items if that isn’t the case.
Nonetheless, the affiliation stated it continued to obtain complaints in opposition to Triple Life-style Advertising and marketing regardless of the warning letter.
CASE then requested the corporate to enter right into a Voluntary Compliance Settlement (VCA) as offered for underneath the Act to stop its unfair practices and to compensate affected customers.
“Regardless of repeated engagements by CASE since September 2020, Triple Life-style Advertising and marketing has not signed the VCA,” CASE stated.
“CASE will proceed to observe the complaints obtained in opposition to Triple Life-style Advertising and marketing and is evaluating additional motion to be taken in opposition to the corporate as offered for underneath the Client Safety (Truthful Buying and selling) Act to guard the pursuits of customers.”
It additionally inspired customers to contact CASE for help in the event that they encounter such practices.