Come 1 Sep 2012, the Lemon Law goes into effect. We thought we share with you the key considerations on this Law.
Extracted from CASE
The Lemon Law will come into effect on 1 September 2012. Provisions of the Lemon Law will be added to the Consumer Protection (Fair Trading) Act, with related amendments to the Hire Purchase Act and Road Traffic Act.
Lemon Laws are consumer protection laws that provide remedies against defective goods (colloquially known as “lemons”), which fail to conform to the contract at the time of delivery, e.g. do not meet standards of quality and performance, especially after repeated repair. Such laws obligate sellers to repair, replace, or refund or reduce the price of those defective goods.
What are Lemon Laws
“Lemon Laws” refer to consumer protection laws that provide remedies for consumers against defective goods, colloquially known as “lemons”. These are goods that fail to meet standards of quality and performance, even after repeated repair.
Extracted from MTI http://www.mti.gov.sg/legislation/Pages/General-Advisory-on-Amendments-to-the-Consumer-Protection-%28Fair-Trading%29-Act-and-Hire-Purchase-Act.aspx
About Singapore’s “Lemon Law”
Under the existing law, a consumer is entitled to reject the goods and obtain a refund when they are not of satisfactory quality at the time of delivery. The new legislation, expected to take effect from September 2012, would provide more options for both consumer and retailer in the form of the additional remedies of repair, replacement, and reduction in price for the purchase of goods, including hire purchase agreements. Goods include second-hand goods, discounted goods and perishable goods. It does not apply to contracts of hire (such as rental goods), the supply of services or the sale of real property (i.e. land, buildings and fixtures). The key changes are as follows:
New rules for repair or replacement of goods: The retailer may offer to repair or replace the defective goods, and should do so within a reasonable period of time and with minimal inconvenience to the consumer. In some cases, repair and replacement are not possible or reasonable. The consumer may instead keep the defective goods and ask for a reduction in price (estimated to be the difference between the value of the product in its contracted condition and the value of the product in the faulty condition) Examples are given by CASE. Alternatively, the consumer may request to return the product for a refund. The refund amount may be reduced to take into account the use that the consumer has had of the goods. If the item has never worked, a full refund should be made.
Clearer rules on burden of proof: The new draft legislation would also provide clearer rules on the burden of proof. If a defect is found within six months of delivery, it is assumed that the defect existed at the time of delivery, unless the retailer can prove otherwise, or if such a presumption is incompatible with the nature of the goods (e.g. perishable goods would not be expected to last longer than their normal shelf life). If the defect is found after six months of delivery, it is for the consumer to prove that the defect existed at the time of delivery.
What Consumers Should Know
Consumers can use the new remedies of repair and replacement that the proposed amendments to the law would provide for. However, a consumer must give the retailer a reasonable time to comply with the requested remedy (e.g. replacement or repair) before seeking an alternative remedy (such as refund or reduction of price). The new draft legislation would not replace the existing protection available, such as guarantees/warranties, retailers’ own return policies, and existing remedies under other legislation (such as the Sale of Goods Act) or the common law.
Consumers are not entitled to a remedy if they damaged the item, misused it and caused the fault, or tried to repair it themselves or had someone else try to repair it, which damaged the item. The remedies are also not available if the consumer knew about the fault before they bought the goods, or if they simply changed their mind and no longer want the item.
While this may come as a huge change to the local bicycle retail scene, we at My Bike Shop are glad that a law is finally on its way to straighten things out here in Singapore so that our customers get the assurance of quality and service support.
Just a recap. Manufacturer warranty is strictly for the first owner and not transferable. Warranty is typically limited to frame and folding joints. Non series parts and components are not covered and we will fall back on the warranty scope from manufacturers of components should the defect come from the component part.
We have had taken the necessary steps to publish our service rates and premium charges is added for express service and we reserve the right to only work on bikes sold by us as these are bikes that we are familiar with. For example, you do not bring your BMW car to a Lexus workshop and vice versa and there is a obvious reason why you do not.
WE WILL ADVICE before we embark on any job but as advice by CASE http://www.case.org.sg/general_advice.html , Basic tips: Compare prices, do research, especially for high-value items, check goods are in good condition, ask about refunds and replacement policies, keep receipts.
Interestingly, our manufacturer backed warranty and first year local servicing policies all this while are exactly as the proposed local version of the Lemon Law states. Within the first year, servicing and repairs are provided promptly and completely free of charge. All faults in clearance products which are not covered by warranties are labeled and stated on product pages and our ads.
Folding bicycles are typically used for recreational cycling in the stated conditions published on the manufacturer’s websites and while we cannot control what customers do with their bikes, we advice caution before you take that bike for an offroad stint or have it ridden on a terrain not designed for its rims and frame.
My Bike Shop’s commitment to our bicycle owners is that we will through our best efforts, repair the same inherent defect, at least 4 times (with support from manufacturer’s support) during the first 6 months period should you face such a issue BEFORE we call it a “Lemon” and consider (as per Singapore Lemon Law) a reduction in price, a replacement, or a refund WITH A SMILE. This excludes defects arising from misuse, abuse and untrained repair. For the record, we have not had a lemon case in the last 7 years that we starting selling our brands of folding bikes.
This law really forces all bike retailers, to raise the level of service and careful range selection, selling responsibly when dealing with local folding bike buyers. My Bike Shop is here to serve you!