Warning letters issued to 3 businesses over complaints of unfinished renovation works
According to consumers, the total contract value of the renovation works taken on by the three companies amounted to about S$580,000, said CASE.
SINGAPORE: Warning letters have been issued to three businesses for allegedly failing to complete home renovation projects, the Consumers Association of Singapore (CASE) said on Wednesday (Apr 13).
Complaints have been received from customers against the three renovation contractors – Sense Construction Werkz, Sense Visual and K&L Interior.
The majority of the complaints refer to the renovation contractors failing to complete home renovation projects according to committed timelines despite consumers making substantial payments upfront, the watchdog said.
The association received a total of 21 complaints against the three contractors from Nov 1 last year to Mar 31. Nine of the complaints were against Sense Construction Werkz, seven were against Sense Visual and the remaining five were against K&L Interior.
Consumers complained that they had made close to full payments or partial payments for home renovation projects, but the works were repeatedly delayed or left uncompleted.
“According to customers, the contractor had cited manpower shortage and staff contracting COVID-19 as the reason for the delays,” CASE said.
Some consumers reported that the companies increased the project cost without their consent and that mistakes were made in the renovation, electrical and paint works.
Customers also told CASE that the firms were unresponsive to requests to complete unfinished renovation works and rectify outstanding defects.
"The companies also requested for advance payment to continue the renovation work, despite not completing the outstanding renovation work according to schedule," said CASE.
"According to consumers, the total contract value of the renovation works amounted to an estimated S$580,000."
Records from the Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority (ACRA) show that Sense Construction Werkz and K & L Interior have the same director and secretary, CASE said.
The two firms also have the same registered office address at 10 Admiralty Street, #04-22, North Link Building.
"According to complaints received and contracts signed by consumers, Sense Visual has the same contact person and/or contact details as Sense Construction Werkz and K&L Interior," said CASE.
The consumer watchdog urged the three businesses to fulfil their contractual obligations.
It said that it is “monitoring the renovation contractors closely” and will not hesitate to refer them to the Competition and Consumer Commission of Singapore for further investigation of possible unfair practices under the Consumer Protection (Fair Trading) Act.
"Consumers who are engaging renovation contractors are advised to research on the credibility and track record of the company, and avoid making substantial payments upfront," CASE added.
CASE president Melvin Yong said the association has seen a "sharp rise" in the number of complaints regarding home renovation over the past year.
"We are concerned about this trend, and would like to urge consumers to do their research and only engage renovation firms with good customer service and track records," he said.
"To better protect consumers against prepayment losses, CASE would like to reiterate our call on the Government to consider mandating prepayment protection in industries which collect large sums of prepayment, such as the renovation, beauty and furniture industries."
He said the association will continue to work with stakeholders to encourage fair trade practices and reduce the number of consumer complaints.