Drop ‘no return, no exchange’ policy, DTI tells traders
The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) over the weekend reminded commercial establishments implementing “no return, no exchange” policies to stop the practice, amid reports that some retailers are still enforcing this rule, which is considered a deceptive sales act.
During the trade department’s Saturday radio program, Marcus Valdez II, director of the DTI’s consumer policy and advocacy bureau, recounted tales of traders who impose this rule on their customers.
“There are many merchants, sellers who say that there is no return, no exchange. That is not allowed,” Valdez said, explaining that such a policy violates the consumers’ right to repair, return and refund a product or a service.
Valdez said consumers should take note that merchants should give buyers a seven-day warranty period for their products, citing that some retailers even offer as long as 180 days.
“If no such warranty was given, we have implied warranty, and if there is no warranty card given, that is good for sixty days or maximum of one year,” the DTI official said.
Under Republic Act No. 7394, or the Consumer Act of the Philippines, the consumer has the right to replace defective products.
The law states that in the case of medicines, the seller is obliged to replace counterfeit or medicines upon purchase.
However, if the product that was bought has no defect or the medicine that was sold is not expired or counterfeit, the seller could refuse to replace or refund the buyer.
The trade official said that refunds or replacements are also not applicable for customers who had a change of mind or bought the wrong product, unless the seller offers the goodwill to have it exchanged or refunded.
“We receive a lot of complaints at the [consumer policy and advocacy bureau] concerning drug stores, where people want to return the medicines they bought,” he said, stressing that the public should take note of this rule.
In a separate statement, Ann Claire Cabochan, assistant secretary of the DTI Consumer Protection Group, echoed the same sentiment, saying that consumers are not entitled to replacement and refund of products because of a change of mind or a mistake on their part.
“This is why the department constantly advises the consumers to examine the product prior to purchase and ask about the seller’s return and exchange policies,” she said. INQ
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