SINGAPORE: More customers lodged complaints on goods and services they paid for in 2013 -- Consumers Association of Singapore (CASE) reported that consumer complaints reached a record high of 29,254.
This was a jump of 13.7 per cent from 2012.
Of these cases, 77.5 per cent were resolved, up by two per cent from the resolution rate of 75.5 per cent in 2012.
However, the amount of money CASE helped consumers recover last year fell by 30 per cent to about S$2.4 million, compared to the S$3.4 million recovered in 2012.
Seah Seng Choon, executive director of CASE, said: "The big ticket items, like timeshare and renovation contractors, have reduced.
"In fact, timeshare has gone down by 50 per cent (in terms of value). Timeshare contracts are usually higher value compared to all other transactions. And as a result of that drop, the total amount of money recovered has come down as well."
The mobile phone industry, however, saw the largest increase -- about 52.2 per cent.
But in terms of numbers, topping the complaint list was the motorcar industry, which saw a total of 3,302 cases, up 46.4 per cent.
The furniture industry also saw a significant increase of 36.7 per cent more complaints.
Defective goods and unsatisfactory service were among consumer's top grouses, but CASE said the rise in complaints does not necessarily mean that business standards have fallen.
It said greater willingness and empowerment by consumers to complain, higher expectations of quality services and lower tolerance for poor business practices could have contributed to the figures. - CNA/ac
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