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Consumer Product Quality and Safety Title III. Protection against Deceptive, Unfair and Unconscionable Sales Acts or Practices Title IV. Consumer Credit Transaction Title V. The National Consumer Affairs Council
RA 7394 otherwise known as the Consumer Act of the Philippines is the legal basis for consumer protection in the country. The law embodies the state policy on the protection of consumers and establishes standards of conduct for business and industry in the country. The Act aims to protect the “interest of the consumer, promote his general welfare and establish standards of conduct for business and industry” by adopting the following measures: Protection against hazards to health and safety; Protection against deceptive, unfair and unconscionable acts and practices; Provision of information and education to facilitate sound choice and the proper exercise of rights by the consumer; Provision of adequate rights and means of redress; and Involvement of consumer representatives in the formulation of social and economic policies. What government agencies implement the Consumer Act? What are their areas of concern? DEPARTMENT OF TRADE AND INDUSTRY (DTI) Consumer Product Quality & Safety Deceptive, unfair and unconscionable sales act and practices Weights and measures (metrication) Consumer Products and Service Warranties
and .Price Tag Labeling and Packaging Liability for Products and Services Services and repair shops Advertising and sales promotion Department of Agriculture (DA) Agricultural Products Quality and safety Labeling and packaging Department of Education. cosmetics and devices and hazardous substance Quality and safety Labeling and Packaging Advertising and Sales Promotion Price Tag Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) Consumer Credit Transactions extended by banks and other financial intermediaries Securities & Exchange Commission (SEC) Credit facilities extended to consumer by financing companies When is the Consumer Act applicable? If the COMPLAINT is a natural person. If the SUBJECT of the violation is a consumer product or service. drugs. Culture and Sports (DECS) Consumer education and information Department of Health (DOH) Food.
b.If the NATURE of the complaint is regarding any of the aforementioned concerns What is a consumer product or service? Consumer product or service means goods. ask for the supervisor or manager and repeat your complaint. If that person is not helpful. Calmly and accurately explain the problem and the action you would like taken. e. household or agricultural purpose. A large percentage of consumer problems are resolved at this level. a. Be . d. service credits. debts or obligations which are primarily for personal. but not limited to food. Return to the establishment where you made the purchase – Contact the person who sold you the item or performed the service. Gather documentation which will support the complaint and help the company solve your problem. Identify the problem and what you believe would be a fair settlement. Enclose supporting documents such as official receipts. family.If you are not satisfied with the response. Sales receipt Repair orders Warranties Cancelled checks Contract 3. places etc. which shall include. c. deed of sale and the likes. Write a formal letter . dates. drugs. 4. write a formal letter of complaint to the consumer protection agency concerned. the circumstances regarding the complaint including names. cosmetics and devices. Do you want your money back? (Refund) Would you want the product repaired? (Repair) Will exchange do? (Replace) 2. What can the consumer do if he has a complaint? 1. State your name and address. the name and the address of the establishment which the complaint is directed.
the complaint shall be filed in the Regional Office . In case of hidden defects. the complaint shall be filed in the following offices: For the Department of Trade & Industry. BFAD For the Department of Agriculture. DA The civil/ criminal action shall be filed with the appropriate regular courts ( Municipal Trial Court / Regional Trial Court) What remedies are available to the consumers? A. Where can a consumer complaint be filed? The administrative complaint shall be filed in the duplicate with the Provincial Office of the Department having jurisdiction over the subject of the complaint. For Administrative proceedings: Replacement or repair of product or services Refund of payment made Restitution or rescission of contract Reimbursement to complainant of amount spent in pursuing the complaint B. especially during the mediation conference What is the period for filing consumer complaints? Within two (2) years from the time the consumer transaction was consummated or the deceptive or unfair and unconscionable act or practice was committed. DTI-NCR For the Department of Health. In areas where there are no Provincial Offices. For civil / criminal action : . from discovery thereof. the complainant has the option to choose the place where to file the complaint. Legal Dept. In the National Capital Region. In case where the complainant and respondent are situated in different provinces.prepared to make an appearance when called.
will call the parties for mediation conference and find ways for amicable settlement. What are the disadvantages of filing the complaint before the Implementing Agencies (Administrative Proceedings) Mediation / arbitration is more economical and time–saving. There is grave abuse of discretion. Complainant need not undergo the rigors and expense of a court case How are consumer complaints resolved? The implementing Agency where the complaint is filed. after jurisdiction is determined. if found quilty by the court be sentenced to imprisonment or payment of the fine or both. the complaint will be scheduled for preliminary conference for the parties to enter into stipulation of facts or arrive at simplification of issues. If no amicable settlement is arrived at.defendant. .Civil action Award of damages Replacement or repair of product or service Refund of payment made Restitution or rescission of contract Reimbursement to complainant of amount spent in pursuing the complaint Criminal action . Formal hearing will be conducted by the Arbitration Officer and decision will be rendered. Decision of the Arbitration Officer is appealable to the Secretary of the concerned Department within 15 days from receipt of the decision Decision of the Department Secretary is appealable within 15 days from receipt of the decision to the Intermediate Appellate Court of the Supreme Court on the following grounds: 1. at the discretion of the court.
unless the respondent files a bond and answer any damages or injury that may arise from the continued use of the product. An assurance to comply with the provisions of this Act and its implementing rules and regulations. that such order shall specify the acts that the respondent shall cease and desist from and shall require him to submit a report of compliance therewith within a reasonable time.2. 5. An assurance to refrain from engaging in unlawful acts and practices or unethical trade practices subject of the formal investigation. repair or refund the money value of defective products distributed in commerce. Condemnation and seizure of the consumer product found to be hazardous to health and safety. . and to file a bond to guarantee compliance therewith. 7. Provided however. and an additional fine or not more than One Thousand Pesos (P1. which shall in no case be less than Five Hundred Pesos (P500. The acceptance of a voluntary assurance of compliance or discontinuance from the respondent which may include any or all of the following terms and conditions: 1. An assurance to recall.00) for each day of continuing violation. The decision is not supported by evidence or there is serious error in findings of facts. 3. An assurance to reimburse the compliant out of any money or property in connection with the complaint. What administrative penalties can be imposed upon establishments that are found to have violated any of the laws covered by the consumer act? The issuance of a cease and desist order.000. if any.000.00) depending on the gravity of the offense.00) nor more than Three Hundred Thousand Pesos (P300. 2. 4. An assurance to comply with the terms and conditions specified in the consumer transaction subject of the complaint. The imposition of administrative fines in such amount as deemed reasonable by the Secretary. 6. replace. Restitution or rescission of the contract without damages. The decision rendered was in excess of jurisdiction or authority of the Arbitration Officer 3. 8.
sellers are obligated to honor their implied warranties and grant corresponding remedies to consumers. No Exchange” notice considered deceptive? Such statement is considered deceptive because consumers may return or exchange the goods or avail of other remedies. Series of 1993. Business establishments with unused Official Receipts should erase or blot out the words “No Return. specifically Title III. 2. or the Consumer Act of the Philippines. 5. can the customer return the item and ask for a refund? No. Rule 2. No Exchange 1. Why is the presence of a “No Return. or words to such effect shall not be written into the contract of sale. in case of hidden faults or defects. No Exchange” before issuing such receipts and henceforth. one cannot return the goods nor ask for a refund .A. Chapter 1. 2. 3. in case of defective or imperfect service because of the “No Return. receipt of sales transaction. or anywhere in the store or business establishment. What is the rationale for this provision? The prohibition is aimed to correct the misconception of a lot of consumers today that they do not have the right to return shoddy or defective goods or demand for remedies.If an item bought from store Y turns out to be more expensive than a similar item in store X. Section 7 of Department Administrative Order (DAO) No. such words should no longer be printed in their receipts or anywhere in their business establishments.No Return. 4. While consumers have the right to choose and make a canvass of prices. Can Business establishments still issue official receipts with the “No Return. or any charge the buyer was not aware of the time of purchase. in any documents as evidence of sale. No Exchange”. No Exchange” notice in the receipts or anywhere in the business establishments. No Exchange”? The Plan has six-month objectives and three-year objectives. 7394. the words “No Return. What is the legal basis of the prohibition on the “No Return. once a sale in done and the product has no defect. By provision of law. No Exchange” policy of business establishments? Pursuant to the Implementing Rules and Regulations of R.
Can a buyer return defective goods without the official receipt? The Official Receipt is the best proof of purchase.Can a store impose the condition that merchandise can only be exchanged once? No.6. 10. taking into consideration the nature of the item purchased and the express / implied warranties mandated by law. a customer changes his/her mind and wants to return said item.e. as long as the consumer chooses the option of replacement. can he/she still return the item and demand and exchange or refund? No.e. 12.If the defect is due to mishandling on the part of the buyer. The prohibition covers only hidden defects. 7. i.Can a store print in their invoices the statement “Exchange of Merchandise will not be accepted without a valid receipt or other evidence of purchase”? No. be observed. 9. Can he/she invoke the prohibition on “No Return.If after buying a certain item. Housing Loans. the prohibition is not an excuse for the consumer to return the goods because of a change of mind. However. etc… Can a borrower pre-terminate his loan without the bank imposing a penalty fee? . No Exchange”? No.Is there a time limit within which a buyer may return defective products? There is no hard-and-fast rule on the period within which a customer may return the products he purchased. Consumer Act and the New Civil Code of the Philippines. shoddy goods or imperfect service. because there may be goods exclusively manufactured or sold by a company and there is no need to prove purchase of the item. Credit Transactions i. A rule of reason should. Auto Loans. 8. 11. Credit Card Loans. however. he/she may still demand replacement or refund if he/she can prove that a defective item was bought from a certain store.Can a store exercise only a policy of exchange but not refund? Consumers are entitled to either an exchange or refund. as long as there is a defect in the quality of goods or imperfection in the service. because merchandise can be exchanged as many times.
loan purpose is primarily for personal. 7394 (The Consumer Act of the Philippines).e. No. the bank may impose a penalty fee on the borrower.* If the pre-terminated loan is a loan to a consumer (i. 7394. .A. household. family. or agricultural purposes). * If the pre-terminated loan is a non-consumer loan (such as commercial and industrial loans). This is in accordance with Article 137 of R. the borrower may prepay in full or in part the unpaid balance of his loan at any time without penalty. as defined under Republic Act No.