HomeBusinessComplaints against renovation contractors jump almost 50% in 2021: CASE

Complaints against renovation contractors jump almost 50% in 2021: CASE

SINGAPORE: The variety of shopper complaints against renovation contractors jumped by almost 50 per cent in 2021, with practically half of them about unsatisfactory workmanship or contractors failing to finish initiatives on schedule.

This comes because the Consumers Association of Singapore (CASE) launched shopper complaints knowledge for 2021 on Monday (Jan 31). A complete of 15,515 complaints had been logged final 12 months, down 15.3 per cent from the 18,335 complaints in 2020, stated CASE. 

“The decrease is largely attributed to a significant drop in the number of complaints against the travel and medical and medical consumables industries,” stated CASE. 

Of the 15,515 complaints, CASE suggested 86.7 per cent of the customers the right way to resolve their disputes with the companies. It additionally helped 13.3 per cent of the customers negotiate and mediate their disputes with companies. 

In all, CASE stated that 64.7 per cent of these instances had been resolved, with S$2 million – in-cash and in-kind – recovered for customers. 

The affiliation stated the composition of shopper complaints it acquired in 2021 has returned to pre-2020 ranges, an “early sign” that shopper buying behaviour and habits in Singapore have stabilised to pre-pandemic ranges. 

INCREASE IN RENOVATION CONTRACTOR COMPLAINTS

CASE acquired 1,300 complaints against residence renovation contractors in 2021, up almost 50 per cent from the 869 complaints in 2020. 

“Close to half of the complaints against the industry were about renovation contractors failing to complete projects on schedule and unsatisfactory workmanship,” stated the affiliation.

The enhance in complaints was attributed to the extended scarcity in manpower and uncooked supplies arising from continued border restrictions on account of COVID-19, pent-up demand in the residential property market, in addition to a corresponding demand for residence renovation final 12 months. 

“To protect their interests, consumers are advised to avoid making large sums of prepayment upfront, and to negotiate for progressive payments to be made as each stage of the renovation work is completed,” stated CASE president Melvin Yong.

SHARP INCREASE IN PREPAYMENT LOSSES

CASE additionally stated that buyers who pay as you go for gadgets or companies reminiscent of magnificence and bridal packages took a better hit final 12 months.

Consumers suffered greater than S$520,000 in prepayment losses final 12 months, a pointy enhance from the S$190,000 reported in the earlier 12 months. 

The magnificence and bridal industries noticed the best quantity of prepayment losses in 2021. Consumers who made prepayments for magnificence and bridal packages had been unable to get a refund of their cash on account of enterprise insolvency. 

“Prepayment safety is an space of deep concern for CASE,” stated Mr Yong.

To higher shield customers against “hefty financial losses” on account of firm closures, Mr Yong stated CASE has known as on the Government to contemplate mandating prepayment safety in industries that gather massive sums of prepayment. 

“And as part of licensing conditions, require the industry to better inform consumers of the steps they can take to protect themselves against business closure,” stated Mr Yong. 

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