The Lemon Law is legislation that aims to protect you from purchasing goods with defects. This guide will cover what the law is about and how it can help you get refunds.
The Consumer Protection (Fair Trading) Act’s (CPFTA) Part III established a ‘lemon law’ in 2012, allowing consumers to pursue claims against faulty goods purchased within a six-month period.
Under the Lemon Law, a merchant is responsible for repairing, replacing, refunding, or lowering the price of a faulty product.
In this article, we will cover all you need to know about the Lemon Law, including what it is, how it works, and when you are eligible for a refund.
- What Lemon Law covers
- Defective products under Lemon Law
- Consumer solutions under Lemon Law
- Law procedures under Lemon Law
- Ineligible Lemon Law claims
Lemon Law in Singapore: a general overview
The Lemon Law governs the compulsory refund, repair or replacement of goods bought by a consumer but later found to be defective. This legislation was introduced to provide consumers with additional protection.
What Lemon Law covers
- Besides consumer products bought in Singapore, the Lemon Law also covers second-hand goods and cars. However, during a Lemon Law claim, their age and condition at the time of delivery, and the price paid would be considered.
- The Lemon Law does not cover services purchased by a consumer.
- The Lemon Law does not apply to real estate or hired/leased items.
- Business-to-business and consumer-to-consumer transactions are not covered by the Lemon Law.
What is considered a defective product under the Lemon Law?
The Lemon Law in Singapore defines a defective product as any good that does not meet the quality standard it was advertised to have. It includes goods that are not fit for the purpose they were bought for and those with manufacturing or design defects.
Additionally, a product can be considered defective under the Lemon Law if it does not meet the standards stipulated in the agreement during purchase.
Remedies offered to consumers under the Lemon Law
A customer can return a defective product and request one of the following remedies from its seller:
- Reduction of the price paid by the consumer.
- Refund of the money paid for the product by the customer.
- Repair of the defective product at the seller's cost within a reasonable period of time.
- Replacement of defective product at the seller's cost within a reasonable period of time.
When making a Lemon Law claim, the following would be considered:
- The age of the product at the time of delivery.
- The condition of the product at delivery.
- The price paid for the product.
- The length of time the lemon product was used.
Pursuit of Lemon Law procedure
If you have purchased a defective product and wish to seek redress, there are certain procedures that you need to follow in order to get a refund under the Lemon Law.
Firstly, you will need to consider your options and decide whether you would want to seek a refund, reduction in price, replacement or repair.
Once you have decided on a course of action, you will need to gather evidence to support your case. This includes photos of the product, proof of purchase, warranty card, etc.
Then you will need to contact your seller and make him/her aware of your intentions. If he/she refuses to give a refund or replacement for the lemon product, you can file a complaint with the Consumers Association of Singapore.
Factors that make consumers ineligible for Lemon Law claims
There are some factors that make a consumer not eligible for protection under the Lemon Law, which include:
1. If the customer had modified any part of the product and damaged it in the process. The Lemon Law does not protect anyone who has changed the features of a product or caused the problem with it.
2. The Lemon Law does not apply to goods that were damaged due to misuse.
3. The law does not protect a customer who tried to repair a product or had someone else repair the product and, in the process, caused damage to the product.
4. The law does not protect customers if the seller had informed them about the product's faults before a purchase.
5. The law does not protect customers if they change their minds about products after making the purchases.
6. The damage is due to wear and tear.
In conclusion, if something that you recently purchased has failed on you and you are still within the six-month window, you can use your newfound knowledge on your rights under the Lemon Law to seek redress.
In the unfortunate case of needing to get a refund for a product under the lemon law, check out the best shopping credit cards to cash in on deals when you’re shopping for its replacement.
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