Besides motorcars, the other industries that accounted for the top five highest complaints in 2023 were electrical & electronics, renovation contractors, beauty and furniture.
While complaints against the electrical and electronic industry accounted for 10 per cent of e-commerce complaints in 2023, the industry saw a dip in complaints from the previous year.
It received 1,195 complaints in 2023 compared to 1,418 in 2022.
The number of complaints against the beauty industry also declined, down 19 per cent from 1,441 in 2022 to 1,166 in 2023.
“The drop in complaints can be attributed to extensive and concerted efforts by CASE and the Competition and Consumer Commission of Singapore to promote fair trading in the industry and to educate consumers,” CASE said.
It added that it also reminded business to adopt fair trading practices and steer clear of engaging in unfair practices, such as exerting undue pressure on consumers to pressure sales or making false or misleading claims.
Consumers suffered about S$476,000 in prepayment loses, primarily due to sudden business closures, a 26 per cent decrease from the previous year’s S$645,000, said CASE.
Of these, the beauty industry accounted for the largest prepayment losses of S$116,000, followed by the gym and fitness club industry, which accounted for S$110,000.
“While reported prepayment losses in 2023 dropped, prepayment losses remain a concern for CASE, especially in light of the challenging economic landscape where consumers are anxious over rising prices,” Mr Yong said.
“CASE reiterates our call on the government to mandate targeted prepayment protection in industries where prepayment losses are high to better safeguard consumers’ hard-earned monies.”
He added that while the association is happy to see “an overall decrease” in consumer complaints, more needs to be done strengthen consumer protection and address common consumer pain points.
“CASE will continue to engage the government and industry stakeholders to strengthen consumer safeguards and put a stop to undesirable business practices.”