New scheme launched to accredit reliable direct sales companies

Complaints involving direct sales companies have risen over the past three years. -- PHOTO: THE NEW PAPER
Complaints involving direct sales companies have risen over the past three years. -- PHOTO: THE NEW PAPER

SINGAPORE - Complaints involving direct sales companies have risen over the past three years.

There were 82 complaints filed with the Consumers Association of Singapore (Case) last year, compared to 59 the year before and 46 in 2012.

Most were about the hard-sell tactics deployed by salesmen who go door-to-door to peddle products such as health supplements, vacuum cleaners and cookware.

To help consumers avoid rogue salesmen, the consumer watchdog and the Direct Selling Association of Singapore launched a new scheme on Thursday that accredits companies with good business practices.

Some 14 companies were accredited, including Herbalife International Singapore, Amway and Nu Skin. They will be able to use a CaseTrust logo to identify themselves as reliable companies.

Certified companies must give customers a seven-day "cooling-off" period during which time they can change their minds and get a full refund. Order forms must include the contact details of the salesman and any disputes must be settled through mediation sessions handled by Case.

"Consumers patronising these accredited businesses will be able to shop in peace knowing that there are clear fee policies in place, well-defined systems and practices as well as well-trained personnel," said Mr Lim Biow Chuan, Case president and MP of Mountbatten SMC.

The list of CaseTrust accredited companies can be found on www.casetrust.org.sg.