Updated: October 19, 2023
The other day, a friend bought groceries and discovered that a couple of canned goods had already expired. What’s worse, his brother also bought groceries, so they ended up with some duplicate items.
Fortunately, my friend knew his consumer rights and brought the items back to the supermarket. He had the cost of the expired goods refunded while the duplicate ones were 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 them, i.e., the 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 solutions:
- 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 a 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 [email protected]
Know your consumer rights. It will help you save time and money.