Tokyo Bust Express (TBE), a beauty industry company engaged in breast enhancement, was found to have been engaged in unfair practices. It has given an undertaking to the Competition and Consumer Commission of Singapore (CCCS) to cease false claims and pressure sales tactics. The CCCS has warned businesses to ensure their business practices do not amount to unfair practices.
Under the Consumer Protection (Fair Trading) Act (CPFTA), making false or misleading claims or exerting undue pressure on customers is an “unfair practice.” The CCCS is currently working with the Consumers Association of Singapore (CASE) to monitor the beauty industry, which has consistently contributed to one of the highest number of consumer complaints made to CASE for unfair practices. It has also reminded businesses to carry out periodic reviews and exercise due diligence in verifying the accuracy of any representations made to customers about their products or services.
In more detail
From 1 Jan 2017 to 30 June 2019, CASE received 37 customer complaints about TBE’s pressure selling. This was despite TBE entering into a voluntary compliance agreement with CASE in 2015 for carrying out unfair practices under the CPFTA.
In light of the repeated breaches of the voluntary compliance agreement, CASE referred the case to the CCCS. Investigations revealed that TBE had made false claims about how its treatments could increase customers’ bust cup sizes or prevent breast diseases, and how its products had bust enhancement effects. TBE was also found to have unduly pressured customers to purchase its treatments and products.
However, having considered TBE’s efforts to ensure compliance with the CPFTA, the CCCS has decided to close its investigations. Steps that were taken included TBE’s removal of objectionable claims in its marketing materials and on its social media platforms. TBE has also given an undertaking to the CCCS that it will stop engaging in unfair practices, such as making false claims and ensuring that its staff do not engage in pressure tactics to compel customers to make a purchase.
The CCCS has reminded businesses to avoid practices that deceive or mislead consumers.
The full media release from the CCCS may be accessed here.