The Small Claims Tribunals are part of the Subordinate Courts of Singapore. The Tribunals can provide a fast and affordable forum for the resolution of small claims between consumers and suppliers. The Tribunals have jurisdiction to hear claims not exceeding $10,000. Where the Claimant and the Respondent consent in writing, the jurisdiction can be raised to $20,000. All claims must be filed at the Small Claims Tribunals within one year from the date on which the cause of action accrued (The Subordinate Courts of Singapore, 2012). Most importantly, the scope and powers of Small Claims Tribunal do include the following categories: A contract for sale of goods (Eg, supply and delivery of goods like stationery, flowers, fruits, raw material, mineral water and so on), A contract for a provision of services (It can be renovation, tuition, business consultancy or construction services and so on (Small Claims Tribunal, 2012).
So based on the above facts given, here’s an overview of a scenario of a case XiaoYun V Nokia. Overview: - Xiaoyun brought a Nokia phone in Aug 2007 with contract at $388. Unfortunately, the phone did not function properly the first week after she brought it. She tried to ask for exchange; however, Nokia replied “there’s no such policy”. Therefore, Xiaoyun file a claim against Nokia through SCT as there’s no proper follow up by Nokia after a month. Finally, Xiaoyun won the case and claimed $778 by SCT in 18 Dec 2007 (CNET ASIA, 2012).
In the above scenario, Xiaoyun as a consumer was right to file a claim against Nokia. First, it’s a quick and inexpensive way to resolve small claims between consumer and supplier. In this case, the phone that Xiaoyun brought was $388. Second, she was right to approach SCT as it has the scope and power to request claims against the supplier as the supplier has supplied a defective goods to consumer. Thus, it’s beneficial for Xiaoyun to resolve the dispute via Small Claim Tribunal.