Learning About The No Return, No Exchange Policy

Posted by Fitz Villafuerte under General Information, Personal Finance on October 15, 2011

The other day, a friend bought groceries and discovered that a couple of canned goods are already expired. What’s worse, his brother also bought groceries, so they ended up with some duplicate items.

Fortunately, my friend knows his consumer rights and brought the items back to the supermarket. He had the cost of the expired goods refunded while the duplicate ones, replaced with other items.

If this happened to you, would you have done the same thing? You should! That’s because you have the right to do so as a consumer, as written under Republic Act 7349, also known as the Consumer Act of the Philippines.

Below is your guide to understanding the most often ignored policy of the Department of Trade and Industry – the No Return, No Exchange Policy.

According to RA 7349:

The “No Return, No Exchange” or ANY equivalent tag line is NOT ALLOWED to be posted in stores nor written in the official receipt of ANY business transaction.


No Return, No Exchange — Points to Remember:

  • Inspect all products that you’re planning to buy. Check the expiration, test it out, and physically examine for defects. This will help you avoid wasting time going back to the store to have your item refunded or replaced.
  • In all your transactions, always ask for an Official Receipt that is duly signed or authorized by the Bureau of Internal Revenue. More importantly, keep the receipt in a safe place as most businesses need it to accommodate any refund, exchange or warranty claims.
  • Don’t wait long before returning the item. Do it the next day if possible, and bring the item, including the packaging it came in AND especially your receipt.

What are your options when returning a defective item?

  • You can have the item replaced with a working one.
  • You can have the item exchanged for a different item.
  • You can have the full cost of the item refunded.
  • You can have part of the cost refunded, so it’s as if you paid for the item at a lower price.

What about consumable items?

Yes, you can still return them as long as you can show proof that there’s something wrong with it, ie. food inside the can is spoiled or shampoo has uncommon dirt inside.


When dining in restaurants, it’s important that you alert your server immediately when you discover something wrong with your order so you can have it replaced, exchanged with another item, or simply crossed off your bill.

On false advertising and wrong labels

When the net content in weight or quantity of your item is less than what’s indicated on the container, packaging, label or advertisement, even if there’s nothing wrong with the item, then it is your prerogative to ask for any of the following solution:

  • Paying for the item at a lower price, or having part of the cost refunded.
  • Asking for more of the item to cover the differential weight or quantity.
  • Replacement of the item for another with the correct weight or quantity.
  • A full refund of the item.

There’s nothing wrong with the item, I just realized I don’t need or want it.

Experiencing buyer’s remorse? Well, I hope not. But in this case, individual store policies already apply.

But it’s still worth a shot to return the item for refund or replacement. You’ll be surprised at how many businesses will actually accommodate your request.

How do you report businesses that violate the No Return, No Exchange Policy?

You may call the Department of Trade and Industry at 7513330 or visit the nearest DTI office in your area.

You can also go to the Bureau of Trade Regulation and Consumer Protection at 361 Sen. Gil Puyat Avenue, Makati City. Moreover, you can send them an email through cwd-btrcp@dti.gov.ph

Know your consumer rights. It will help you save time and money.

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Photo credit: vrogy


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9 Responses to “Learning About The No Return, No Exchange Policy”

  1. Jade Sitjar says:

    I wish every store would do the same. if the item is defective, it should be returned, refunded, or replaced. But there are times that the store owner or manager will not comply with the complaint. Even if you call the authorities. And besides, it’s just worth LESS of a complaint. I mean, what store will comply to a report if the item is just worth LESS? That’s reality. If you complained about an expired candy over a small store, will they really comply to the Law? That’s reality. Not everybody will comply. But at least, the BIG superstores will.

  2. shodensan says:

    great info!!!!

  3. The same thing happened to me last year during Christmas season as I was preparing my husband’s favorite salad, I ran out of cream. I asked our helper to go to the nearest retail store, only to realize that the cream is already expired when I saw the bubbly cream after opening it. I immediately checked the expiration date on the can and found out that the cream is already expired. I told our helper to return the cream and ask for a replacement. Good thing the store owner replaced the item; otherwise, he will need to do some explanation. I know my rights and I know what I should do in these situations.

    Thanks for sharing!

  4. Shatzz Lee says:

    I bought a pancake mix from a local grocery here in La Trinidad,Benguet.As I was unpacking the items,I noticed that the Pancake mix was expired a month earlier from the day that I bought it, I went back to the store 2 days after,but was unable to bring the item.I asked If I could return the expired item but an employee approached me and said that I should have returned the goods on the day that I bought it and said that it is against grocery policies to accept goods that has not been returned within a 24 hr. period.. Im just wondering,is a there a time frame for returning expired good? Because Big supermarkets like SM allot a 7 day time frame for the return and exchange of goods.

  5. april gonzales says:

    very helpful thank u

  6. Random says:

    Hello, I have a question, there is an online shop I bought from, a swimsuit, but when I received it, it is barely like the one from the picture posted, I also ordered a mint colored swimsuit but received a light blue, and there were lots of dark inks on it. I want to return it or maybe exchange it with another one, what should I do?

  7. nichollo says:

    Pwede bang ibalik ng costumer ang binili nito at papalitan sa kadahilanan na ayaw na nya, nagkamali ng bili o di na nya kailaangan?

  8. Marilou b. Aguinaldo says:

    Bumili ako ng printer sa octagon sa sm fairview ang brand hp 3999 price. Ok nung simaksak nakapag xerox kami.sa bahay nagamit namin isang beses ung nag print kami isang beses. Sumunod na araw ayaw na mag on. Nilipat kona ng ibamg saksakan…inalis ko ulit.tas kinabit ayaw parin. After 2wks dipo kasi ako pede magbyahe na mag isa dahil maselan pregnancy ko need kopa antayin asawa ko para may kasama ako. Pagdating sa store ayaw palitan may recibo naman ako kesyo 1wk lang daw. .saka walang box kasi daw may barcode daw ung box. Testing nila pinalitan ng ibang cord ayaw din. Ang sabi samin 4wks pa kasi ung hp daw magsasabi kung ano final na decision. Ganun poba un eh binili namin un tas pa aantayin kami pero ung pagsoli ura urada gusto..ang lupit namn nun..
    Tulungan nyo namn kami.

  9. Madame M. says:

    Nicholo “NO”
    If after buying a certain item, a customer changes his/her mind and wants to return said item. Can he/she invoke the prohibition on “No Return, No Exchange”?
    No, the prohibition is not an excuse for the consumer to return the goods because of a change of mind.

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