What You Need To Know About Lemon Law

Thought this article would be good to give you more details about “Lemon Law” and its insights. Notice how the author abide the PEEL format to write this piece of article, interestingly PEEL is relevant in our daily writing style (food for thought).


The Ministry of Trade and Industry (MTI) has proposed amendments to the Consumer Protection (Fair Trading) Act and the Hire Purchase Act (HPA). This move will assist consumers in their course of claiming refunds by according them with a greater liberty to exercise their rights.

I must state that I wholeheartedly support the Lemon Law. There are simply few reasons to believe otherwise. I expect to see significant improvements in the retail & services sector. Arguably, throughout Singapore’s history, the goods & services sector has been plagued with many unscrupulous businessmen with their shady, fly-by-night operations. Fortunately, that is about to change.

The Promotion of Responsible Retailing.
A sense of responsibility will start to gain momentum.

At last, the filth within “Scam-Central” Sim Lim Square will start to clear. Just as how a criminal finds the judicial system offensive, shady vendors will too find this bill vulgar. A quick reference from YouTube will reveal numerous videos relating to undesirable dealings in SLS. CASE does practically nothing to squelch it because the vendors can simply close shop, change name and go to the start of another business cycle with the same rotten sales model.

The 3 Classes of Retailers.
Generally, it is fair to claim that there are 3 classes of retailers: Excellent, Mediocre, Bogus. This law will – without a modicum of doubt – assist to reduce the 3 classes to 1 which upholds service excellence.

Purely as a matter of survival, the bogus retailer would probably be doing everything they can to campaign against the bill.

On the other hand, the excellent retailer would have absolutely no reason for concern, as it is likely that he already had an appropriate return policy in place. In fact, it would be cause for celebration since competitors who do not meet the standards will be eliminated. In the case of Apple Inc, as long device failure occurs in the course of reasonable usage, exchange will be provided within 1 year under AppleCare.

Last, we have the mediocre in-betweeners. For them, it is either they improve or accept relegation to the “Bogus Division”.

Rise of Third Party Insurance Plans.
I expect the rise in popularity of opt-in additional insurance packages for items.
Amazon LLC and its participating vendors offer a wide range of third party insurance policies which insure against faults and hence guarantee hassle-free solutions to issues. I view this as an excellent opportunity for retailers to offset the projected increase in costs and can create a booming market for third-party insurance/re-insurance companies.


Beyond the Drawing Board/Other Considerations.

I am interested as to how this “Lemon Law” can be executed in a meaningful way: Can lead to a fruitful consumer-retailer relationship?

Rise in supply-chain operations cost.
As long the Kiasu mentality remains firmly wedged in the minds of Singaporeans, retailers have valid causes of worry. Consumers who suddenly find themselves empowered might be tempted to abuse the law, leading to poor profitability of retailers. This in turn could very likely lead to general price hikes across the sector as retailers react to buffer against the inevitable rise in refunds and claims.

Ethical Consumers
Consumers should match up in terms of ethics. Just because the lemon law favour consumers, it does not mean one should try to squeeze retailers at every opportunity. Could there be a rise in frivolous litigations?
Will there be provisions to shield genuinely honest retailers from irresponsible buyers?

Another area of concern would be the ease-of-access for the average man in the street to file for claims. Will this be within reach, both in terms of finance & time?

Who will be present to iron out the infinite numbers of grey areas? It is important that this plan be well-executed, because if it remains stuck in limbo, there might as well not be any “lemon Law” at all.
How about services e.g. spa/gym/massage? As far as Singaporeans are concerned, these areas are of incredible filth and a big sweep ought to be in order, as evidenced by irresponsible closures and non-refund cases.


Critics of the LL will have to accept this as a new challenge in the business environment, as part of efforts to step up out service standards with the ultimate aim of out-competing similar service-oriented mature economies e.g. Hong Kong, Japan, South Korea.
It is undeniable that this move is for the benefit of Singapore in the long run, and that those who are unable to meet the demands will have to accept elimination, based on the principle of “the survival of the fittest”.
At the same time, it is important to note that the inception of the bill does not mean that predatory consumers will suddenly gain acceptance, nor should it be encouraged.

Posted by:

Wilmott Lee



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