AUG - 2012
This September, Singapore enacted its "Lemon Law". This colourful colloquialism refers to legislation that protects consumers against defective goods (both new and used consumer goods), excluding services, properties and buildings.
While laws to protect consumers did exist, they were rather limited in scope. Consumers could reject defective goods, but they could only obtain refunds as the main recourse. They also had to do so within a "reasonable" period, with no clear definition on what was to be considered "reasonable".
The new statutory provisions provide greater clarity and, hence, greater protection to both consumers and sellers. Under the same, all defects reported within 6 months of delivery are presumed to exist at the time of delivery.
Consumers are then entitled to repairs, replacements and a reduction in price, or refunds. Where disputes arise, the burden of proof will be on the retailer to prove that defects were not inherent. For defects reported beyond the 6– month period, the burden of proof will fall upon the consumer to prove that the said defects did exist at the point of delivery.
The High Court had dismissed the hearing before it without any consideration of the disputes of facts as well as the cross examination of deponents. Furthermore, only the affidavit of Microsoft‘s Corporate Attorney was considered by the High Court, and this, merely to establish Microsoft‘s copyright ownership in Microsoft‘s computer programmes. The affidavit evidence of Microsoft‘s other witnesses were overlooked