We thank Ms Theresa Lim Siew Leng for her letter, "Curious what percentage of complainants are helped by Case" (Jan 15).
The majority of complaints received by the Consumers Association of Singapore (Case) are one-off contractual disputes between consumers and businesses.
For such complaints, Case would advise consumers on how to resolve their disputes with the businesses directly. We will also negotiate or mediate the disputes with businesses on behalf of the consumer, or both.
In 2020, over 70 per cent of the 2,200 filed disputes were resolved amicably by Case through negotiation and mediation.
If disputes cannot be resolved amicably, Case would advise consumers on their next course of action, which may include lodging a claim at the Small Claims Tribunals.
Notwithstanding the resolution of disputes, Case monitors all complaints closely to identify the minority of egregious businesses which persist in carrying out unfair practices to the detriment of consumers.
Where Case has reasonable grounds to believe that a business is egregious and has engaged in questionable or unfair practices, Case would take stronger actions such as calling the business out, inviting the business to enter into a voluntary compliance agreement to cease its unfair practices, or referring the business to the Competition and Consumer Commission of Singapore for investigation under the Consumer Protection (Fair Trading) Act.
Lee Siow Hwee
Consumers Association of Singapore