SINGAPORE - For the first time in its history, the Consumers Association of Singapore (CASE) has obtained an injunction against an individual for engaging in unfair trade practices.
The Aug 28 hearing against Mr Chiok Wee Juo heard that the sole proprietor of three furniture businesses had lied to customers about the quality and availability of his goods.
Mr Chiok, who owns Olena (formerly known as Mattress Atrium), Bez Gallery (formerly known as Michelle Mattress), and The Exquisite Promenade, was present at the hearing and did not object to the charges, CASE said in a statement today.
According to an earlier report by the Straits Times, CASE had received 44 complaints against Mr Chiok's three companies between 2008 and July 2015.
Mr Chiok's modus operandi usually involved persuading the customer to pay the full sum upfront, promising to deliver the furniture at a later date. Goods were then allegedly not delivered by their promised delivery dates, and were often a different size, colour or model from what was ordered.
The injunction prevents Mr Chiok - who also goes by the names Pierce or Yi Ren - from collecting any deposits worth more than 20 per cent of the item purchase price. The ban applies to his wife Ms Huang Xiaohua, his associates, employees, and includes any future businesses that he may start.
For deposits exceeding 20 per cent, CASE will collect it and only transfer the amount back to Mr Chiok's business when the goods have been delivered and accepted by the customer.
Previous injunctions were filed against companies and not individuals, CASE added.
Despite the injunctions, customers who have suffered losses from Mr Chiok will still have to file separate claims with the Small Claims Tribunal.