I was surprised to read that the Competition and Consumer Commission of Singapore (CCCS) is seeking public feedback on proposals by two lift companies (Supply of lift parts: Feedback sought on two firms' proposals; Jan 12).
When town councils first took over the maintenance of lifts in Housing Board estates almost 30 years ago, they faced the problem of lift companies not selling crucial spare parts to third-party maintenance contractors.
Over the years, CCCS has investigated a number of lift companies for the same issue (Five suppliers of spare parts for HDB lifts under probe; July 15, 2016).
Apparently, after so many years, the problem has not been resolved. I hope that after this phase, this issue can come to a close.
Lift companies are not the only ones controlling the sale of spare parts.
This can be seen in the motor industry too.
Last year, when I needed spare parts for my car, my mechanic said he was unable to obtain the parts from the local distributor unless I personally went down to produce proof of the purchase of my car.
More ought to be done to prevent such anti-competitive acts, including imposing strong punitive measures on errant companies.
Ronnie Lim Ah Bee