The Consumers Association of Singapore (CASE) and Shopee Singapore have inked a partnership reaffirming their dedication to protecting consumer rights through the adoption of CASE's Standard Dispute Management Framework for E-marketplaces.
CASE’s Standard Dispute Management Framework for e-marketplaces was launched in 2021 with the aim of aligning dispute resolution processes across e-marketplaces operating in Singapore. According to a press statement, the collaboration comes at a time when CASE has observed an increase in consumer complaints pertaining to online purchases, from 2,206 complaints in 2021 to 2,530 complaints in 2022, accounting for approximately 14% and 17% of total complaints received by CASE in 2021 and 2022 respectively.
Common complaints include missing items, failed deliveries and defective or non-conforming goods. With the signing of the MOU, the focus will now be in areas such as verification and reliability of merchants, information to consumers, timeframe, resolution, refunds and exchanges and facilitating resolution.
The programme will include educational campaigns and activations, which are developed in collaboration with industry partners like CASE and law enforcement agencies.
Melvin Yong, President, CASE, shared that while e-commerce and online transactions have made life easier, they also carry significant risks and dangers. To address these emerging concerns, CASE called for e-marketplaces to authenticate sellers, establish escrows to protect consumers’ monies and improve dispute resolution processes.
“I am therefore happy that Shopee, a major e-marketplace for Singapore consumers, has agreed to implement the Standard Dispute Management Framework for E-marketplaces with a shortened resolution time period for Returns and Refunds requests,” he said.
The collaboration also marks the launch of Shop Safe with Shopee, a consumer protection initiative focused on promoting a safe and reliable user experience online. Shopee will work closely with merchants to maintain high-quality listings, and strict adherence to its prohibited listings policy.
Shopee will also ensure merchants include comprehensive and useful descriptions such as regulated labels and Trust Marks, and further expand seller verification efforts on the platform.
Shopee is also committing to an average resolution time of two and a half working days for returns and refunds requests.
This improves upon CASE’s recommendation of seven days in the current standard dispute management framework for e-marketplaces.
Low Yen Ling, Minister of State, Ministry of Trade and Industry and Ministry of
Culture, Community and Youth, present at the singing said consumers will well appreciate the presence of strong consumer safeguards as the degree of risks associated with online purchases has grown with the breadth and speed of online shopping.
“Digital marketplaces that adopt fair trading practices and a robust dispute management framework will enjoy a higher level of trust from consumers,” she said. She added that the new initiative will also aid to “strengthen the Shopee brand”, and the partnership is a testament to the industry’s efforts to strengthen safeguards for consumers and provide them with greater assurance on their purchases.
“The Government will continue to work closely with CASE and the retail sector to deepen consumer protection and promote fair business practices for a healthy and vibrant retail industry,” she said.
Ian Ho, Vice President, Shopee, said: “With e-commerce becoming an intrinsic part of our everyday lives, we know that safety has become the benchmark for Singaporean shoppers. This partnership with CASE, and the launch of Shop Safe with Shopee, builds on our commitment to cultivate a safe and reliable e-marketplace environment where shoppers and sellers alike can transact with peace of mind.”
Sea Group founder Forrest Li assures staff 'worst is over' in memo
Shopee PH's new brand ambassador leads to boycott, Lazada milks outpour of love
Shopee reportedly lays off more staff in latest round of cuts
Get the daily lowdown on Asia's top marketing stories.
We break down the big and messy topics of the day so you're updated on the most important developments in Asia's marketing development – for free.subscribe now open in new window