Consumer complaints ballooned in 2022, says DTI
Consumer complaints received by the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) more than doubled last year compared to numbers during prepandemic times, reaching nearly 28,000 and rising in parallel with the surge of activities on digital channels.
Trade Secretary Alfredo Pascual said that complaints received by the DTI’s Consumer Protection Group (CPG) reached 27,947, more than twice the some 10,000 complaints received in 2019.
Pascual also said that 12,200, or 44 percent, of the complaints in 2022 involved online transactions.
“The most common complaints among the 12,200 were liability for product and service imperfection. Torn clothes, for example, over 2,500,” Pascual said in a speech during the Ad Standards Council’s (ASC) Induction of new officers on Friday of last week.
Transactions tagged as deceptive, unfair, or unconscionable sales act or practices, including consumers not receiving any item at all, numbered almost 2,200, he added,
Complaints on misleading advertisement and fraudulent sales promotion practices, such as refusing discounts during an advertised sales promotion, reached 450.
He also said that almost 2,500 of the complaints were resolved, around 9,900 were endorsed to the appropriate agencies, while the rest were either withdrawn or issued certificates to file so a case could be filed in court.
Pascual also touted the launch of its Consumer Care Advocacy Initiative Project earlier last month, which was kickstarted in partnership with the ASC and the Out-of-Home Advertising Association of the Philippines.
“In this project, organizations providing land, air, and water transportation to the general public allowed the use of their available platforms for consumer education,” Pascual said.
“I hope that educating more consumers on their rights and responsibilities will increase consumer consciousness and surpass the current awareness level of 82 percent,” he added.
Pascual also urged the advertising trade group to support the passage of the Internet Transactions Act, which will give the government more regulatory powers in terms of control and taxation of digital transactions.
“The bill seeks to strengthen trust in e-commerce and online transactions. At the heart of this highly anticipated legislative measure are mechanisms such as the Online Business Registry and the eCommerce Philippine Trustmark,” Pascual said. INQ