Higher amount recouped in 2014 through mediation by Consumers Association of Singapore

(Left to Right) Mayor for Central Singapore District Denise Phua, Consumers Association of Singapore (Case) president Lim Biow Chuan and Minister of State for Trade and Industry Teo Ser Luck visiting shops at Sim Lim Square on May 22, 2015. The Consu
(Left to Right) Mayor for Central Singapore District Denise Phua, Consumers Association of Singapore (Case) president Lim Biow Chuan and Minister of State for Trade and Industry Teo Ser Luck visiting shops at Sim Lim Square on May 22, 2015. The Consumers Association of Singapore helped consumers recoup $439,701 last year, a big jump from the $284,465 recovered in 2013. -- ST PHOTO: MARK CHEONG

SINGAPORE - The Consumers Association of Singapore (Case) helped consumers recoup $439,701 last year, a big jump from the $284,465 recovered in 2013.

The consumer watchdog said the higher amount could be a sign that more consumers with unresolved disputes involving high contract values, such as the purchase of beauty packages, cars and renovation services, are turning to mediation.

Case, in a press release on Tuesday (June 9), cited the example of a woman who was invited to try out an $18 trial promotion slimming session. She was later pressured into buying various slimming packages worth $88,000, even though she was unemployed.

She later requested for a full refund.

Although Case handled fewer cases last year compared to 2013, it reported a higher success rate in resolving these cases.

Last year, Case handled 125 disputes, of which 75.2 per cent of the cases were resolved. In comparison, only 68.5 per cent of the 146 cases in 2013 were resolved.

The sectors with the highest resolution rates are: Slimming/furniture (100 per cent), motorcar (91.3 per cent) and electrical and electronics (85.7 per cent).