CCCS on MoneyFM: Don't be a victim be a smart consumer

On 28 April 2020, Jack Teng, CCCS's Director (Consumer Protection Division) spoke with MoneyFM's Claressa Monteiro on how consumers can protect themselves against unfair trade practices by retailers. The Consumer Protection (Fair Trading) Act or CPFTA protects consumers against unfair practices and empowers consumers to seek civil redress against unfair practices in Singapore.

According to statistics released by the Consumers Association of Singapore (CASE), the beauty industry has been consistently ranked among the top three industries with the most complaints received. In 2019, approximately one-third of the complaints involved salespersons taking advantage of consumers by exerting on them undue pressure or influence. Other common sales tactics in the beauty industry include:

  • Making false/ misleading or unsubstantiated claims that goods/ services have performance or benefits they do not have
  • Demanding payment for unsolicited goods or services
  • Falsely offering free gifts with the sale of goods/ services
  • Put up goods/ services for sale but refuse to supply with the intention of promoting a different product

All retailers, both online and in-stores, are subject to the CPFTA. Under the CPFTA, it is an unfair practice for a supplier to mislead, make a false claim or take advantage of a consumer if the supplier knows or ought to know that the consumer is not in a position to protect his own interests or is not reasonably able to understand the transaction or any matter related to it.

To protect themselves, consumers should always make an informed purchase decision by arming themselves with enough knowledge of the products and services before making any purchase.

Listen to the Podcast available on MoneyFM's website here.