Lemon Law and My Bike Shop Purchases

The Lemon Law came into effect on 1 September 2012. Provisions of the Lemon Law augment 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.

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, passed in September 2012, provides 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.

Our Thoughts

My Bike Shop welcomes a law that assures our customers get the assurance of quality and service support in Singapore.

To 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 will be covered under the warranty scope from manufacturers of those components, should the defect come from the component part. Under the PDPA, we will only correspond with the registered first owner, with a valid warranty for any claim.

We have had several cases of fraudulent claims and regretably, we reserve the rights to refuse service and get legal advice not withstanding to file a police report.

We have had taken the necessary steps to publish our service rates and charges are added for express service or very neglected bikes. 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.

We will always advise before we embark on any job. We also recommend customers refer to advice from 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.

Our manufacturer backed warranties and first year local servicing policies comply fully with the local version of the Lemon Law. Within the first year, adjustments and repairs are provided promptly and 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 advise 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 the manufacturer) 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. This excludes defects arising from misuse, abuse and untrained repair.

CASE Shopping Tips For Consumers
Compare prices
Do research, especially for high-value items. For electrical goods, research on the product and their function and the common problems to look out for.
Check that goods are in good condition. When buying groceries, check the expiry date of the food item and see if the packaging is in good condition.
Ask about refund and exchange policies.
Ensure that there is a warranty for electrical goods. Check on their post sales service as well.

Very important, Keep receipts.

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