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Lenovo Singapore and reseller found to have made false or misleading claims about some gaming laptop models

Lenovo Singapore and reseller found to have made false or misleading claims about some gaming laptop models
File photo of Lenovo's logo displayed on a screen. (Photo: AFP)

SINGAPORE: Lenovo Singapore and its former authorised reseller Want Join have been found to have made false or misleading claims about the capabilities of certain models of a gaming laptop.

Lenovo and Want Join had made the claims about the screen refresh rate of some models of the Lenovo Legion Y540 gaming laptop, the Competition and Consumer Commission of Singapore (CCCS) said on Thursday (Apr 14).

Screen refresh rate refers to the number of times per second a display screen can draw a new image. For example, a screen with a rate of 144Hz refreshes an image 144 times per second, as compared to one with 60Hz, which refreshes the image 60 times per second.

On Jan 19, 2020, news outlet Lianhe Wanbao published a case study by the Consumers Association of Singapore (CASE) of a customer who bought a laptop after being misled by an online advertisement stating that the laptop had a 144Hz screen refresh rate.

"The consumer claimed that the laptop he subsequently received only had a 60Hz screen refresh rate and sought assistance from CASE. Following CASE’s engagement with Lenovo Singapore, the latter provided a full refund to the consumer," said CCCS.

In May 2020, CCCS started investigations against Lenovo Singapore and Want Join in relation to its claims about the screen refresh rate of the Legion laptop found on Lenovo's website and its product listings on its LazMall store.

The consumer and competition watchdog found that between April 2019 and June 2020, Lenovo Singapore stated on its website that its Legion laptops could achieve a screen refresh rate of “up to 144Hz”.

“However, in a model comparison table for the full range of models of the Legion laptop, only two specific models were stated to have a screen refresh rate of 60Hz,” CCCS said.

These were the Custom 15IRH-PG0 and Custom 15IRH models.

But it was found that four other models of the Legion laptop could only achieve a screen refresh rate of up to 60Hz, said the watchdog. The models were 81SY001JSB, 81SY001KSB, 81SX002CSB and 81SX002DSB.

"This information was omitted from the model comparison table on Lenovo Singapore’s website, giving rise to the impression that the up to 144Hz screen refresh rate also applied to these four models," added CCCS.

Want Join was also found to have posted product listings of two Legion laptop models on the LazMall website between August 2019 and March 2020, stating that the screen refresh rate was "up to 144Hz".

These models could only achieve a screen refresh rate of up to 60Hz.

Lenovo Singapore and Want Join stopped selling the Legion laptop in June 2020 and March 2020 respectively.

They have each provided CCCS with an undertaking to cease these unfair practices and not to engage in any other unfair practices under the Consumer Protection (Fair Trading) Act (CPFTA).

Both businesses have also pledged to put in place an internal compliance policy to “ensure that their conduct in relation to advertising, marketing materials and listings of their retail goods and services does not amount to unfair practices under the CPFTA".

As they have ceased the practices before or shortly after CCCS commenced its investigations, the authority has decided to accept the undertakings and closed its investigations.

Affected customers can consider approaching Lenovo Singapore or Want Join, CCCS said. They can also approach CASE to assist in negotiations.

Source: CNA/ga(mi)


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