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Singapore enhances consumer protection law and considers stronger enforcement powers

A set of guidelines which lays down illegal pricing practices will take effect on 1 November 2020 and apply to all physical and online suppliers. The guidelines cover the following 4 areas: 

1. Drip pricing, which is adding fees on to an advertised price during the transaction process. 

2. Misleading price comparisons, which is falsely advertising a price as having an advantage over a competitor. 

3. False discounts, which is advertising a false discount off the usual price of a good or service. 

4. Misuse of the term "free", when in reality conditions are attached. 

The guidelines are available at: https://www.cccs.gov.sg/legislation/consumer-protection-fair-trading-act.  

Consumers who encounter unfair practices should first approach the Consumers Association of Singapore (CASE), which will monitor the conduct of suppliers and take action against those that persist in unfair trade practices. This favours a balanced approach in enforcing the rules, with mediation and negotiation being the first port of call.

However, the CCCS also indicated that it is looking into the possibility of its being empowered to issue financial penalties for breaches of consumer protection law.

Asked by The Straits Times about the possibility of [the Consumer and Competition Commission of Singapore] being empowered to issue financial penalties for breaches of consumer protection laws... the commission's assistant chief executive of legal, enforcement and consumer protection Lee Cheow Han said this is being looked into.

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consumer protection, singapore, law, enforcement, tech & data, data protection

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