Guide to Lemon Law in Singapore
As a consumer, you would be able to make a claim for a defective product (also known as lemons) sold to you within 6 months of purchase. It is compulsory for a seller of a defective product to repair, replace, refund or reduce the price of the defective product (subject to certain conditions).
This is provided for under the lemon law found in Part III of the Consumer Protection (Fair Trading) Act (CPFTA).
When life gives you the lemon law, you get lemon-AID! ? *badumtsk* – The seller must make the replacement/repair within a reasonable time and without causing you too much inconvenience. The seller must also bear all necessary costs incurred in doing so. – If the product isn’t worth repairing/replacing, you can ask for either a partial or full refund depending on whether you still want to keep it. – Some food for thought: in today’s millennial lingo, to feel “sour”, “salty” or “bitter” (whether over a defective product or otherwise) all roughly mean the same thing, don’t you think? #SingaporeLegalAdvice #LemonLaw
How Does the Law Define “Defective Product”?
Under the lemon law, a product is defined as “defective” if it does not conform to the agreement at the time of delivery. This definition is found in section 12B(1)(b) of the CPFTA.
A product will be considered as not conforming to the agreement at the time of delivery if, for example:
- It does not correspond with its description; or
- It is not of a satisfactory quality; or
- It is not fit for any purpose communicated to the seller before the point of purchase.
Time Limit for Claiming Under the Lemon Law
If you find that you have bought a defective product, you should first check whether the product had been purchased within the past 6 months:
- If the product was purchased within the past 6 months, remedies are available.
- However if the product is not meant to last beyond 6 months, then you are not entitled to the lemon law remedies. Examples of such products include consumable or perishable products.
Lemon Law Remedies Available to the Buyer
The buyer should bring the defective product back to the seller to ask for one of the following:
- Repair of the defective product within a reasonable time at the seller’s cost; or
- Replacement of the defective product within a reasonable time at the seller’s cost.
However, the buyer will not be able to ask for a repair or replacement if doing either would be either impossible or disproportionate in cost for the seller. If so, the buyer may ask for a reduction in price or a full refund.
Alternative Remedies (Subject to Certain Conditions)
If the seller fails to repair or replace the defective good within a reasonable time, or if the repair or replacement would be out of proportion in cost, the buyer may ask for a:
- Reduction in price of the defective product; or
- Refund for the defective product.
What to Do If the Seller Refuses to Remedy the Defect
Should the seller refuse to make good on a defective product sold to you, you can bring the issue up with the Consumers Association of Singapore (CASE) to have them look into the matter on your behalf. CASE is a non-profit, non-governmental organisation dedicated to protecting the consumer interest.
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