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New Scheme Offers Redress For Dissatisfied Purchases Online

A new scheme, Casetrust, emerges to help promote e-commerce in Singapore by giving consumers the assurance that Casetrust-approved retailers have clear refund policies and consumer privacy protection measures.

Casetrust is a joint initiation by the Consumers Association of Singapore (CASE), the Retail Promotion Center (RPC), and CommerceNet Singapore (CNSG) to recognize Singapore-based Web and store retailers who practise good business ethics.

Standards are imposed on retailers who want to apply for Casetrust.

Retailers have to present their products and business policies in an objective and honest manner without misleading consumers so that they can make informed buying decisions. Retailers must also disclose clear refund policies and protect the privacy of consumers.

An application fee of S$600 applies for Web-based retailers.

When approved, they can display the Casetrust logo permanently on their Web sites. Audits will be conducted regularly to ensure the retailers keep the standards of Casetrust.

An annual renewal fee of S$200 also applies.

"The focus is on good business practice, good dispute avoidance," said Toh See Kiat, president of CASE, also the chairman of CNSG.

The scheme aims to enroll 70 percent of an estimated 200 online retailers here, said Edmund Baker, executive director of CASE.

Seven Web retailers were involved in the development of Casetrust. They are Bee Cheng Hiang, Prentice Hall, Cold Storage, Franklin Electronic Publishers, i nuovi Cosmetics, Joaquim Florist & Gifts, and The Paint House.

They are also the first seven to be Casetrust approved.

"If consumers can shop with more confidence, they will come back with repeat sales or give you a referral," said Kenneth Chee, managing director of Joaquim Florist & Gifts.



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