‘Significant’ increase in consumer complaints on online transactions reported in 2020
MANILA, Philippines — There has been a “significant” increase in the number of consumer complaints related to online transactions in 2020 compared to previous years, the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) reported Monday.
During the online hearing of the House committee on trade and industry, DTI Undersecretary Ruth Castelo said their office has received 14,869 complaints on online transactions from January to October 31 this year.
This is noticeably higher than the 2,457 complaints received in 2019; 1,451 in 2018; 848 in 2017; and 522 in 2016.
Castelo said most of these complaints were against online selling platforms such as Shopee (3,432 cases) and Lazada (3,475 cases). The trade official added that consumers also complained of transactions that happened in other platforms such as Facebook.
“So far, we have broken down the number of complaints against platforms. We understand that Shopee and Lazada are among the three biggest platforms in the Philippines that are very active, which would probably explain the number of cases filed against them,” Castelo said.
Castelo said most of the complaints were related to the Price Act (7,539 cases), defective products (3,157 cases), and deceptive, unfair, or unconscionable sales acts or practices (2,641 cases).
Consumers also complained of poor customer service, issues on advertising and sales promotion, consumer product quality and safety, and billing concerns, among others.
The hearing was held amid reports of online fraud and the recent spate of internet scams, fake online bookings, and sale and distribution of illegal drugs online or via social media.
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