Wowmall flagged by Case for misleading customers

Wowmall advertised a "Luminor" watch (left), but shoppers said they received a different brand instead (right).
Wowmall advertised a "Luminor" watch (left), but shoppers said they received a different brand instead (right).PHOTO: CONSUMERS ASSOCIATION OF SINGAPORE

An overseas e-commerce retailer has been flagged by the consumer watchdog for misleading advertisements, after customers here received watches that were "drastically different" from what had been promised.

Between May and June, the Consumers Association of Singapore (Case) received seven complaints against Wowmall over purchases of a timepiece described on its website as a "Luminor 1950 Series PAM00441 Men's Automatic Mechanical Watch", Case said yesterday.

The Advertising Standards Authority of Singapore has also received four similar cases of feedback.

Consumers reported that the watch they received was a quartz watch of a brand different from what was advertised. Some also said that the watch was defective.

A check by The Straits Times yesterday found that the watch was still for sale on Wowmall's website and was listed at $68, down from the usual price of $298. Wowmall did not respond to queries.

Case said that it can be challenging for consumers to obtain recourse, as they cannot lodge claims against non-Singapore-registered businesses at the Small Claims Tribunal.

Those affected can contact their logistics service provider for assistance with their refund request, or lodge a chargeback request with their credit card-issuing bank within 120 days if the watch is defective or not as described.

Consumers who are unable to resolve their disputes with Wowmall can contact Case for assistance, it said.

The consumer watchdog advised shoppers to do their checks before buying goods or services from unknown online vendors.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 07, 2018, with the headline 'Wowmall flagged by Case for misleading customers'. Print Edition | Subscribe