Sunday, June 28, 2009

Consumer Protection: Cases of Unscrupulous Lifestyle & Beauty Providers

This blog entry is the continuation of this entry.

All Cases quoted here are taken from:
TTPM (May 2008), "Mudah Murah & Cepat- Claim Your Consumer Rights".

Case 1: SLIMMING SERVICES
Sandra had signed-up for a 10 session slimming programmed offered by Syarikat N worth RM3600.00 (The slimming programme costs RM3600.00). After completing the 10 sessions in the course of 1 & a 1/2 months, Sandra had a wieght loss of only 1.2 kg and a 2cm reduction of the waist. Sandra felt that this weight loss did not commensurate with the fee that she paid.

Syarikat N further informed Sandra that too much fat had accumulated in her body. She was further advised that in order to loose it, she would have to undergo a few more sessions. For these additional sessions, Syarikat N offered her a discount. Feeling annoyed, Sandra rejected the offer as she ahd lost confidence in Syarikat N. Sandra then signed up for the same programme in Syarikat R. She had an obvous and visible weight loss after 10 sessions of the slimming progamme for the price of RM888.00. Sandra filed a claim in the Consumer Claim's Tribunal against Syarikat N.

AWARD: Before the hearing, Syarikat N returned the full amount to Sandra.


Case 2: HAIR REMOVAL
Michelle engaged the services of Syarikat MM Sdn Bhd for hair removal. She was told that she needed to go through 3 or 4 treatments in order to permanently remove the hair above her upper lip. She decided to undergo 4 treatments. However, Michelle's efforts were futile as she underwent not only four treatments but despite undergoing 33 treatments and adding on a further 12 treatments, the hair continued to grow.

Michelle patiently continued with the treatment hoping that it would permanently remove all the hair. It was suggested that she add on another four treatments. Michelle's problems did not end there as her hair continued to grow and become more coarse and darker in colour. The skin around Michelle's lips too became much darker.
The amount claimed by Michelle is RM3,070.00

AWARD: Syarikat MM Sdn Bhd was order to pay damages and cost of RM3,072.00

RELEVANCE TO THE BLOG
There are many unscrupulous lifestyle & beauty providers out there that promises "magic" and changes to consumers who fork out their hard earned money. The cases above highlights to consumers that these practices do exist, and we should be aware of it in order to exercise our rights and knowledge as consumers.

Consumer Protection: (TTPM) Tribunal Tuntutan Pengguna Malaysia.




















 Early this afternoon, when I out surveying at a home fair in Mid Valley, I chanced upon the TPPM having a booth in the exhibition hall. I thought it would be good to read up on Consumer Rights, so I took their information pamphlet.

The TPPM, otherwise in English, known as Tribunal for Consumer Claims Malaysia, is a body established under Sect.85, Part XII, of the Consumer Protection Act 1999, and falls under the Ministry of Domestic Trade & Consumer Affairs. It came into force on 15th Nov 1999.

The TPPM acts "to provide an alternative for onsumers to claim for any loss suffered in respect of any goods and services purchased in a less cumbersome & speedy manner & at minimal cost". However, the TPPM only assists in cases "where the total amount does not exceed RM25,000.00".

The beauty of the tribunal is that, regardless of whether the transaction was made by cheque, credit card, or debit card, the customer can claim for their payment back. For most people, they prefer paying by credit card, as it would be easier to pursue a "chargeback" process, which allows them to revoke their payment.

However in the past, prior to TTPM's establishment, "all disputes between a consumer and a supplier or manufacturer had to be brought before a civil court which often involves complicated procedures, high costs and is time consuming. These are some of the reasons why consumers are reluctant to pursue their claims against irresponsible and unscrupulous suppliers or manufacturers, especially when the amount claimed is small, even though presently there is in existence the Small Claims Court in every state to ehar claims involving amounts of RM5,000.00 and below".

The types of claims that may be brought by the customer before the Tribunal are cases that arise from:
a) a false claim or misleading conduct, false representation or unfair practice.

b) safety of goods & services.

c) The right against a supplier in connection with any of the guarantees implied by the Act.

d) The right against a supplier in connection with any guarantee implied by the Act in relation to services.

e) The right against a manufacturer in connection with any express guarantee on supply of goods.

f) The right against a manufacturer in connection with any guarantee implied by the Act in respect of any goods.

CRIMINAL PENALTY FOR FAILURE TO COMPLY
"Any person who after 14 days fails to comply with an award made by the Tribunal commits and offence and shall on conviction:

a) be liable to a fine not exceeding 5,000 RM or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 2 years, or both;

b) in the case of a continuing offence, the offender shall, in addition to the penalties above, be liable to a fine not exceeding 1,000RM for each day or part of a day during which the offence continues after conviction.

RELEVANCE TO THIS BLOG
The reason I have included this post here is that Consumer Protection is a matter that not many consumers in Malaysia are not aware of. I have spent much time (and many hours at that!) to painstakingly write letters to companies when I am not pleased with their merchandise.

The response from their Customer Service, even a well crafted e-mail without the need to go through the Tribunals has been encouraging. What more if it should happen that I were to go through Tribunals. In that note, therefore I encourage all consumers to EXERCISE your rights, and to KNOW your rights.

THE STATE OFFICE ADDRESS
The State Office of the Tribunal for Consumer Claims in Selangor:
Ketua Seksyen
Tribunal Tuntutan Pengguna Malaysia
Lot 03-13, Tingkat 3, Bangunan PKNS,
40622 SHAH ALAM, SELANGOR
Tel: 03-5511.8271 Fax: 03-5511.6981

For more information on lodging complaints for claims, please click on the TTPM website.

REFERENCES
TTPM (May 2008), "Mudah Murah & Cepat- Claim Your Consumer Rights".

RELATED LINKS
(CAP) Consumer Association of Penang
TPPM: Cases of Unscrupulous Home Product Providers.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Haircut: A lesson in Customer Service & Selling.

I paid RM30+ 3 (for Loreal branded shampoo) for a haircut today at this salon, Teamwork, in Taman Desa. I look terrible now, and have to wear a hat for the next seven days!

However, I learnt a lesson in selling & customer service today. No matter how much a person pays for a service, at the end of the day, they want, as customers, to be reassured that they had made the right choice when they made the transaction.

In my opinion, the haircut was terrible.

What aggravated the situation was not the fact that the haircut was terrible. It was the fact that the hairdresser, Fiona, the so-called "hair-stylist" person who cut my hair, after finishing the job, just ignored me and started playing with her handphone.

That really puts off the customer when they are distressed about their appearance, and the "seller" doesn't give any reassurance to help the customer feel at ease. Instead, her colleague had to do the "dirty work" of ensuring that the customer felt better.

So, after coming and searching the internet, I found out that there has been many stories of "Bad Hair-Cuts",and that this stylist, Fiona, so happened to be really badly trained in hair-cutting skills. I wonder why she was even working there in the first place! I have a good mind to go back to the salon and ask for a refund at this point.

But it was her colleague that appeased me. So readers, if you still want to go to this salon, I wish you all the best of luck!

So please, to all sales people (especially those in sales, and in Malaysia) please treat your customers well. They paid for your services. So treat them like humans.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Cupping Therapy: Only 50 Yuan.

That's about RM26.

My mom returned recently from China, and bought the cupping machine. The only thing left to do now is try it.

SO WE DID. AND THE RESPONSE TO IT?

My mother thinks guasa works better. She once had a really bad back, and had "guasa" done on her back. The pain went off after a couple of days.

It is also easier to perform "guasa" on one-self when the assistance of another person in the vicinity is not available.

With the Cupping/Section Therapy, you need additional tools to pull the suction of the cups. Which may not be a very viable option at most times.

THE CONCLUSION?
In my opinion, both are good. So get both!

The so-called "circular red looking bruises" looks cool enough to give the people around you a fright.

I'd do it for the kicks. ^^

Free Home-Based Dermalogica Facial!

That's for sure!

I was over at a cousin's in Bandar Utama earlier today. It was the time of the night where one is supposed to be headed for home, but it ended up with me being given a trim done to my eyebrows, and a quicky home-based "Dermalogica" facial.

E has worked in Leonard Drake for over 10 years, and on her entire dressing table were litres of the different types of Dermalogica, Averine and Airellis body & skincare products. In her bedroom (my cousins took up one entire "floor" of the family house), there is a "lying down" bed. Which makes it convenient to perform a facial or to have your eyebrows trimmed. There was even a Watsons sauna machine stashed somewhere in the room.

My cousin-in-law also asked if I wanted to get some Dermalogica products from her, as she can get it for staff price, starting from 15% off the retail price! ^^ She is in the midst of family planning, so a home-based salon should definitely be in the plans.

So should anyone be interested in getting Dermalogica products (or their family brands) you may write me here. Home-based facials may have to wait though. ^^

Thursday, June 4, 2009

CHEAP Home-Made Facials

These recipes were taken from all over the Internet from a while ago. If I didn't provide acknowledgement, please do accept my apologies, as I can't remember where they were found either!

Ingredients at home:
Aloe Vera. Oats. Eggs.
Oats Brown Sugar Scrub
2 Tbsp. ground oats
2 tsp. brown sugar
2 Tbsp. aloe vera
1 tsp. lemon juice

Mix all ingredients in a clean bowl until you have a smooth paste. Gently massage onto damp skin, and rinse off with warm water. You can triple the recipe for a fantastic smoothing body treatment.
Ground Oats: use rolled oats and a clean coffee grinder or blender to grind the flakes to a fine powder.

Banana Bread Masque:
½ really ripe mashed banana - moisturizing, 2 Tbsp. ground oats - soothing milk or cream, add as necessary - softening pinch nutmeg - antiseptic 2 Tbsp. whole wheat flour - antioxidant
Whip ingredients together, adding cream or oat flour as necessary to get a smooth, paste-like consistency. Spread on clean face and leave for 5-10 minutes, then rinse thoroughly and pat dry.
For Normal/combination skin mix one egg and 1/2 cup cooked instant oatmeal and a teaspoon olive oil until smooth. Spread on your face and leave 15 min then rinse.

ALoe Vera:
Aloe Vera Mask for normal to combination Skin:

*Aloe vera mask - good for all skin types it tones and freshens up skin; it is good in preventing wrinkles.Take:1 tablespoon aloe vera sap2 tablespoon warm honeyStir ingredients thoroughly. Apply mask on face for 10-15 minutes.

Normal to Oily Skin: I use egg whites. Just beat one egg white until it is frothy. Spread it all over your face. Wait until it dries. Rinse it off. My face feels very clean and "tight" after this application. And then I use the yolk for cooking.( I have yet to have found a use for the shell)

Aloe Vera Mask for Oily Skin:

Ingredients:
White of one egg2 teaspoon of aloe vera sap1 teaspoon of lemon juiceBeat up white of egg and add other ingredients.Apply the mask using the brush and let it dry, then apply rest of the mask. Let every layer to dry. When the last layer is dry wash your face with warm water.

Dry Skin: The best homemade facial mask that I have used is a raw egg yolk. just apply the raw yolk to your face and neck for 30 minutes and rinse with cool water. Egg yolks are high in vitamin A. The mask is very effective in healing blemishes.

You can also use the yolk for removing the masque. Just whisk the yolk and spread it on top of the dried egg white masque. It works GREAT in helping loosen it up and makes rinsing much easier.

I worked in an assisted living home and one of the ladies had glowing skin and I was surprised she was 80. She said she has always used egg whites as a facial masque, then used the yolk as a catalyst to loosen the masque prior to rinsing. I thought she was nuts but decided to try it.

What would I lose? A few cents on an egg?
She was absolutely right. This is a magnificent way to tighten and invigorate skin - old or young - and much cheaper than stuff from the stores that add a lot of unnecessary ingredients and possibly burning sensitive skin.

When it comes to the laboratory vs. mother nature, I'll take the latter every time. Always listen to the seniors. They lived in a time in which they had to make do with what they already had, so they have the knowledge and experience we never had and never will have.

If you use whole eggs, make it an entire beauty treatment by using the yolks on your hair. Mix one or two egg yolks with about 1/2 teaspoon of olive oil and about 3/4 cup of warm water. After shampooing massage the yolk mixture onto hair/scalp like a conditioner, let set a few minutes and rinse!

Carrot Facial Mask:
Ingredients required:
2-3 large carrots
4 and a half tbsp honey
Directions:
Cook the carrots
After cooling mash them
Mix it with honey to make a paste
Gently apply over your face
Leave it on for 10minutes
When dry, rinse off with cool water

Ingredients:
2 tbsp sugar
3 tbsp warm water
Preparation:Stir sugar into warm water so that it melts.Make sure granules are dissolved, otherwise they could tear your skin. Apply to the face. Gently massage around the skin.Rinse with warm water OR I like to take a warm washcloth that's steamed in the microwave. Make sure the washcloth is not too hot.

Cucumber Face Pack to get Smooth Skin
Mash 1 whole cucumber, strain water, add 1 tablespoon of sugar and mix well. Put in a container,l keep refrigerated and take out whenever you want to use it. Apply on your face and leave for 10 minutes, then wash with cold water and enjoy the smoothness of your skin. You canttry on it on other parts of body as a scrub.

More home face-care remedies.

More information found on the world wide web.. as per the last one, I'm sorry if I can acknowledge the information, as I cant remember where I found it. :-P


Cucumber and lemon juice Astringent
These are the effective natural astringents. Grate cucumber and squeeze to have juice and mix it with lemon juice. Apply on the face with help of a cotton ball.

Kacang Hijau Facial Scrub- Green Beans Mung- Sensitive & Mature Skin

Sengkuang (turnips) Facial Scrub- dull, tired skin.

Astringent- Rose Water (Air Mawar).



Watermelon seed oil is extracted by pressing from the seeds of the Citrullus vulgaris (watermelon). It is particularly common in West Africa, where it is also called ootanga oil or kalahari oil. Traditionally, the seeds are extracted from the seed casing, and dried in the sun. Once dried, the seeds are pressed to extract the oil.[1] Watermelon seed oil contains high amounts of unsaturated fatty acids with linoleic and oleic acids as the major acids.[2] Watermelon oil is also sold as an emollient, and is used in personal care products.

My First Egg White-Yolk Home Facial Client

Rummaging through the kitchen, it had nothing but honey, and eggs.

So, our first facial customer we tried on was a 45+ year old lady of borneo descent.

First she was instructed to clean her face. Then she put her face over a basin of hot water with a towel over her.

She was then instructed her to use a toothbrush to gently scub her face with it (dry brushing).
However, after a while, I realised it would be better to take the warm water (from the hot water earlier) to scrub her face with instead (wet brushing).

Anyways, I realised that I had to find a brush to apply the egg solution onto her face,and found another toothbrush. The egg was separated to the egg white, and egg yolk.

First I applied the egg white with the toothbrush onto her face as I wasn't going to use my hands (unless she wanted to do it herself)

Since there was so much, i jst applied it to her hands and neck as well. I took a hairdryer to dry it (it was taking forever to dry anyways!)
Then I applied the egg yolk on the dried egg white, to soften it, and it was easier to remove the dried egg white.

She wiped off the dried egg white layr with a cloth dipped in warm water.

Then after, she applied toner and the serum we had given her.

How did she look?

GOOD, she said. ^^

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Bizzy Body: The RF Contouring Treatment.

After giving it much consideration, I decided to find out more about the (Radio Frequency) RF Contouring Treatment provided at Bizzy Body. My cousin-in-law, Elaine, who works in Leonard Drake, says that it "supposedly" works.

However, one of my friends, K, noted that perhaps RF is dangerous as it has something to do with "thermal waves" like those of the microwave cooker.

Yet, before I was willing to give it a go, I decided to do my homework by sleuthing other service providers if they provided the Radio Frequency treatments at their salons.

The ever hard-selling current Centre Manager, Ms. C, proposed a package of 3 Radio Frequency treatments + 1 Draining Massage (MDS) for RM598.00.

WHAT DO I THINK?
It is not cheap. Expensive.

b
I have yet to know.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

(RF) Radio Frequency Facials

Pink Elle reviews Kanebo RF Face Lifts.

This definitely sounds interesting.

Say Goodnight To Insomnia

This entry has been cut & pasted from my other blog, as it is related to lifestyle living. It was written in March 2008 after receiving news that I was to go to work. That granted, I had to make some changes to my lifestyle in order to accomodate the change in sleeping practices that I was used to, as I had been sleeping, and waking up at odd hours being a loafer in Sydney.

As I was used to sleeping late, and waking up just as late, I had to source for information in regard to changing sleeping patterns to combat premature insomnia related issues.

MARCH 2008:
"These tips below are taken from the text above by Dr. Gregg D. Jacobs that I found in the Sydney City Library. I've had to re-adjust my body clock sleep time as I recently got called to work!! (Isn't that good news? ^^) So yeah, here are some tips that you guys can use too...

Among some of the tips he recommends are:
1) A Regular Rising Time- Get out of bed around the same time every day, including weekends, no matter how little or poorly you have slept.

Body-Temperature rhythm starts to rise in the morning when one gets out of bed. If the elevation in your body temperature is delayed by a few hours, the drop in your temperature in the evening will also be delayed by the same amount of time. Therefore, if you try to go to bed at your normal time, you won't be able to fall asleep because your body temperature will be too elevated.

2) Reducing Time Alloted for Sleep- Reduce your time in bed so that it more closely matches the amount of sleep you are averaging per night.

If you are averaging six hours of sleep, your time in bed should be limited to a maximum of seven hours. Contrary to what you think, reducing time in bed will not reduce sleep time. Rather, it will increase prior wakefulness, strengthen the sleep system, and therefore increase your sleep time. Sleep efficiency will also improve and your bed will become a stronger a cue for sleep.

3) Napping- if you can afford it, an afternoon nap as short as ten minutes can enhance alertness, mood & mental performance. Limit it to 45 mins, as anything longer will strongly disrupt your sleep patterns for that night.

4) Stimulus-Control Techniques- Do not make the bed a cue for wakefulness.
- Use the bedroom for sleep & sexual activity only. Do not use the bedroom to do your work.
- Make sure you feel drowsy when you turn off the lights to go to bed.
- If you don't fall asleep within 20-30 mins, don't lie in bed tossing & turning. Instead go out and do another activity, and then attempt to go to sleep again.
This might take up to TWO weeks to notice any improvement. After FOUR weeks of consistently practising, your body will adjust accordingly & should be able to fall asleep soon more easily on most nights.

Other things to AID better sleep:
5) Have about 20-30 mins exercise regime every other day, and about 3-6 hours before bedtime. This will help reduce the time required to fall asleep by half, and sleep time to increase by almost one hour.

6) A Bath.- A hot bath about two hours before bedtime help the body to relax.

7) Exercising the Brain- The intellectual & mental stimulation increases the pressure for sleep.

8) Improve Sleep & Mood with Bright Light.
- When sunlight enters the eyes, melatonin levels decrease, which signals body temperature to rise and promotes wakefulness.Darkness causes melatonin levels to increase and body temperature to fall, which promotes sleep.
- Consequently, increased exposure to sunlight at certain times of the day can minimise sleep-onset insomnia & early morning awakenings.
- Open the drapes immediately upon awakening.
- Eat breakfast near a sun-exposed window.
- Take an early morning walk.

9) Caffeine, Nicotine & Alcohol can Disturb Sleep.

10) Only carbohydrate snack two hours before bed time. It will increase serotonin levels during the night and ensure that your sleep isn't disturbed due to hunger.

11) The lower the room temperature, the greater the drop in body temperature and the easier it will be to fall asleep & stay asleep. However, make sure you are kept warm as not to catch a cold.

12) Keep the Bedroom Dark & Quiet. Loud noises from outside can disrupt a person from entering deep sleep."

MAKE SURE YOU FOLLOW THE TIPS GIVEN!!

LinkWithin

Blog Widget by LinkWithin