The Consumers Association of Singapore (CASE) is a non-profit organization that protects consumers against unethical business. A few months ago, CASE was pretty much powerless when Jover Chew, together with a few scandalous retailers in Sim Lim Square, conducted their businesses in an unethical but yet, to some extent, lawful manner.
CASE couldn’t do much except to work with the mall and retailers to provide a more structured and organized way of doing business. Jover Chew got away scot-free. Well, kind of (after his personal details were exposed online).
With their lack of power, Singaporeans sort of lost confidence in CASE’s promise to protect consumers.
That was only less than four months ago. Now, CASE is back with fangs.
Just recently, in the Singapore 2015 Budget Speech, it was announced that petrol duty fee will increase. That was in 23 February 2015. As the duty fee will directly affect companies first before consumers are affected (it’s almost a certainty that the price will be absorbed by the consumers), there was no mention when consumers will be affected.
And one day later, on 24 February 2015 night, the prices were increased.
For people who don’t drive, here’s some context: prices of petrol are always fluctuating daily, so it’s common for a price change to occur so suddenly.
But here’s the thing: the prices were increased dramatically from about $0.12 to $0.18 per litre for the popular 95-octane petrol. One company raises it to $0.18, which is $0.03 higher than the $0.15 petrol duty fee.
So CASE isn’t happy.
They wanted answers. It’s something like this: Why increase this much ($0.18) when the duty fee is this much ($0.15)? Are you trying to gain more profits from this at the expenses of consumers?
Unethical? In comes CASE.
And so, they sent letters to the companies demanding for an answer. The director was quoted saying, “While petrol prices have fallen by 2 cents as compared to yesterday, pump prices are still higher than the recommended 15 to 20 cents increase for intermediate and premium grade petrol respectively. We would still require the petrol companies to give a satisfactory explanation as to why their prices have increased beyond the tax increment.”
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Now, we’re talking.
CASE really shows this to us: 老虎不发威,你当我是病猫!
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