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Consumer’s rights – How to get refund from your seller ?

August 1st, 2007 · 14 Comments

Few weeks ago, I have received a call from my ex-colleague, Ms Ling. She brought some skin care products from a well known beauty center in KL. After applying the products, she found that her facial problem was worse than before.  She asked how could her get refund for her money. the total sum involves is about RM2,000.

I told her there are 3 ways she can consider to take this issue further:

1. to write to the beauty center directly, stating her problems and make appointment to see them to discuss the issues further. Warning them that she will proceed to take legal action against them without further notice to them, should they ignore her letter.

Cost: This is the cheapest and most direct way.

Efficiency: AVERAGE as they may just ignore your letter. They may think that your claim is baseless and you may not be serious to carry out any further action. It would be good to be supported by a medical letter.

2. to engage a lawyer to issue a letter of demand for the refund.

Cost: A normal letter of demand will cost you about RM100 to RM200, depend on the complexity of the issue.

Efficiency: GOOD as they know you are serious about this complain and your basic of claim is more credible. This is because the claim is only made after consulting a lawyer. However, it is still not as good as the 3rd way as the beauty center may assume that you are unlikely to spend any more money to instruct your lawyer to proceed further. (after all the claim is only RM2,000.) The legal fees for taking this kind of matter to Magistrates’ Court may easily cost more then RM2,000.

3. to file a case by herself with the The Tribunal For Consumer Claims.

Cost: RM10 for filing of Form 1 (Statement of claim) and miscellaneous fees

Efficiency: Very GOOD. This is the most effective and cheapest way to claim for her refund. Before the tribunal, no parties are allowed to appoint lawyer to represent them, so no one is in disadvantage position. (Every thing is conducted in DIY manner)The award given is final and binding to the parties. Every award made by the Tribunal shall be deemed to be an order of a Magistrates’ Court and be enforced accordingly by any party to the proceedings in a Magistrate’s Court having jurisdiction in the place where the award was made.

Any person who after 14 days fails to comply with an award made by the Tribunal will be liable to a fine not exceeding RM5,000 or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 2 years or to both (scary) ;in the case of a continuing offence, the offender shall, in addition to the penalties above, be liable to a fine not exceeding RM1,000 for each day or part of a day during which the offence continues after conviction.

Therefore, if you have claims (only certain claims) against your sellers and the amount involved is less than RM10,000. You may consider to lodge a claim in the Tribunal since the costs involved is low and the award is binding against both parties.

I will give more detail about The Tribunal For Consumer Claims, its jurisdiction and limitation, its function, where is it located, its contact and some useful websites in my next post.

Tags: Consumer's Rights

14 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Aica // May 20, 2008 at 1:07 pm

    hi Eddie, hope you can advise me here cos i m having some problems with msia pharmacy enforcement dept. I ordered some cosmetics from overseas for personal use but they detained all saying tht i do not have license n they r not registered products. I am not aware of the rules even i did try checking at pos msia site n the customs site. Can they do that? It feels like they are trapping individual rather than enforcing the law. Also, i find that the number of items that i ordered n the amount they wrote in the detention letter does not tally. Do they have right to do anything with my goods while on detention w/o my knowledge? Do u think that i shud consult a lawyer? Thanks.

  • 2 Eddie Law // May 20, 2008 at 10:31 pm

    Aica, yes, I think you should get a lawyer to represent you and write to them. If possible, accompany you to meet the officer so that they will take your complaint seriously.

  • 3 p // Jun 17, 2008 at 2:50 pm

    Is that possible to get back deposit when we wish to cancell the purchase order from a warehouse? because we found that the product which they stated as discounted item(display unit) was easily higher than normal merchants outside.

  • 4 Eddie Law // Jun 17, 2008 at 3:00 pm

    P- well, i am not too sure about the fact of your case, but as far as I know, a deposit is meant to be a security of one’s performance. As such, if one party is not performing his obligation under a contract, the innocent party is entitled to forfeit the deposit paid.

  • 5 emily // Apr 17, 2009 at 11:38 am

    hie eddie, i hope u can advise me on my situation. I recently purchased 2table lamps and 1ceiling fan on a moving out sale from a reputable retailer. They issued me a temporary receipt that stated for me to claim my official invoice. The salesperson responded by saying the official invoice will be issued with the delivery of goods. Since the 2table lamps were cash & carry term. I checked the goods and signed the temporary receipt they issued me. I requested if i could pay only a deposit for the fan and will pay the remaining balance when they deliver and install my fan to protect my interest. The salesperson explained that it’s their company policy to accept payment in full before delivery. Since the delivery was just a few days away and they’re a famous company, I trusted them and waited for their delivery. On the delivery date, they failed to appear or contact us. We then refer to their receipt and found no contact details printed on it. So we went online to get their contact number from their website. After speaking to their staff over the phone, she advise me to go the branch i purchased to find out the reason of the delay. I went to their shop and their salesperson explained to me that their fan has a manufacture defect and they are unable to sell us that model. They offered for me to chose something else. I browse around their shop and i didn’t find anything i like. Hence, i requested the salesperson to refund back my money. The salesperson says he could not make such decision and called the office to speak to me instead. His colleague again suggested me to exchange for other items but i still insisted on my refund as the mistake was made by them. They can’t force me to buy something i don’t like or need. It was them who couldn’t deliver and not me who canceled the order. She then agree to refund my money back but it will take them 2weeks to process the cheque from their accounts department. I didn’t agree with them as I paid them in cash at first and i have to go through so much trouble for their mistake. Leaving no other choice, I cooperate with them and gave them my full name for the cheque. Knowing that I’ll be getting my refund, I bought another fan from another shop as my renovation work cannot be delayed. Few weeks later, no one has contacted me regarding my refund. I called the salesperson to check on it. He mentioned that the case has been hand over to another colleague. I called them the next day and another lady took our call and listened to our complaints. She assured we could get our refund by the coming friday. She called us to collect our refund and apologize for a misunderstanding. She claimed that all these while, they meant the refund would be in cash voucher. I was furious because I’ve told them several time that I don’t need anything from them and I want my money back to reimburse my payment for the new one. Why would I need their cash voucher and plus the voucher comes with a 1month period validity. My interior works at home has been completed already and there’s nothing I need from a specialty shop of interior furnishing. I then told the representative that I’m not satisfied with their refund and i will file a complaint to the tribunal. She then responded to me that the receipt I have is only a temporary receipt and it’s not liable to make any claim. It’s just too bad I didn’t manage to get my official invoice from them. I find it so ridiculous because they expect every consumer to understand their company billing system or policy. They kept saying that it’s just company policy and expect their company policy to be the law consumers must follow. She then rudely told me that i have no choice but to take her offer and it’s a take it or leave it situation for me. She told me i have no black and white to proof they agreed to refund. Please let me know what i can do

  • 6 Sandy yoong // Jan 20, 2010 at 8:32 pm

    hi Eddie,
    Recently i have applied balance transfer and has been approved by the bank and been credited to another bank.
    After a few days, i called to the bank customer service to asked for reducing balance. Two staffs told me that no fees will be charged if i haven’t start any BT installment payment.

    But after 4 days, their manager called me and said not approved for reducing balance and he told me if i am insists then consider early settlement and i need to pay all the principle and interests.

    I felt stress now as i do not need to BT plan anymore and somemore the staffs told me no charges incurred if cancellation is done before installment.

    The service manager told me give me the final answer tomorrow and he will retrieving all the recorder conversation between me and his staffs..

    If tomorrow, they admit was his staffs given misleading info and causing me making wrong decision but still insists no cancellation of BT plan.

    What should i do and can i escalating this issue to consumer right dept?

    Please advise. Manay thanks

  • 7 feisan // May 8, 2010 at 12:06 am

    Hello Eddie,
    My parents have purchased 4 tickets via a tour company just a few days back to Shanghai.
    However, just yesterday my father met with a tragic accident where he would be hospitalized for at least a week before he would be required to undergo a surgery. The trip to Shanghai would be on the 20th of May 2010 but due to this unfortunate turn of event, he is incapable of going for this trip. We would like to get a refund from this company or to replace someone else for this trip (which has already been fully paid).
    I would be very grateful if you are able to enrich me on this.

  • 8 feisan // May 8, 2010 at 12:08 am

    My email is ms.feisan@gmail.com,
    apologies for the mistake.
    Thankyou!

  • 9 darshan // Aug 24, 2010 at 7:50 pm

    dear sir,

    i live in india and i buy an apple iphone 4G 32GB from malaysia. first supplier says that u make payment then he shipout. i make payment $300 and my bank and oversis bank of malaysia both are said that the amt is credited in their a/c but my supplier said that it is not reflax in our a/c.

    plz help me . . . .

  • 10 sarah // Sep 1, 2010 at 1:35 pm

    Hi i need some advice regarding this matter, on the 20th August i booked a sofa amounting Rm3000, i paid 30% of deposit. But without my knowledge my brother has bought me another sofa from other retailer and fully paid for it. So when i come to know about i made a called to the shop and ask them can i exchange something for the amount of Rm900(the deposit) and dont mine adding a bit. But to my surprise the shop sales person said i must purchase thing amounting RM3000. I fell this is not fair because i am not asking for a refund i am willing to buy something else with the deposit amount. What should i do in this situation?

  • 11 Day // Sep 1, 2010 at 4:01 pm

    hi eddie, i went to tribunal and the award made was full refund to me from the company.
    but the company are not willing to refund back to me after 14 days.
    i called back to the tribunal and ask for help. and was told that the case is being appealed to the high court.
    i feel very frustrated and helpless in this situation. how long do we need to wait for this case to settle ?
    any other way to force them to refund back to us without so many hassle?
    pls, i need your advise. thanks!!

  • 12 irene // Jan 10, 2011 at 5:44 pm

    Hi Eddie,
    if the respondent refuse to give me his address, how can i send him the Form 1 ? he gave me his business card, but i found that his shop has been closed down & how working w/out an office. he’s a friend relative. i’ve paid him the money & he did not issue me any receipt, saying his word are golden & i should believe him. please help.

  • 13 Velydan Chatu // Sep 17, 2011 at 12:07 pm

    Dear Mr.Eddie
    I need your advice/guide and help.about 8 years before I had applied to Malaysian Indian Congress via Ex-Pasir Gudang Divisional Chairmanfor a branch called MIC cawangan Suria,Seri Alam, Masai, Johor and had paid the required quota and members list to MIC HQ. I got a approval and given me a date to conduct AGM. A day before AGM I received a telegraph from MIC Secretary General to hold the AGM and he promised me to have by two months times. I had made many calls and send letters and emails to HQ regarding the said matters but till today it goes in deaf ears and there is no reply either for my branch or refund the sum paid with incurred cost and documents.
    Please advice me what shall I do for to get back my refund with cost.
    Thank you.

  • 14 jane // Jan 6, 2012 at 2:03 pm

    i have recently signed up with a direct selling company , hoping to do the business after purchasing about rm3000 worth of products . However after having an experience, i was uncomfortable with the current group of people and would like to terminate and join another group..this was done in a week of signing up.. however the company said they can onloy refund 90% and although i requested for a termination, they said that i have to wait 6 months before i can resign under someone else to start the biz….
    i would like to know if there is any cooling off period that i can claim my purchase and sign up as void .thank you

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