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DTI consumer tips for the holiday season
Monday, December 12, 2011
With the holidays drawing near, the Bureau of Trade Regulation and Consumer Protection (BTRCP) have prepared tips for the consumers to be able to equip them with basic information on how to protect themselves from engaging in unscrupulous sales transactions especially this season when such activities are rampant.
Safety tips on buying Christmas lights
What are the things consumers need to look for when buying Christmas lights?
- Check for the ICC Mark or the Import Commodity Clearance Sticker.Christmas lights with ICC marks mean they passed the mandatory safety tests of DTI. Thus, make them safe and reliable to use.
- Beware of fake ICC Mark Stickers. Genuine ICC stickers are not pre-printed on the packaging of the products. A genuine ICC mark is a foil-like hologram sticker which bears the ICC seal and the serial number and year of certification.
- Check for the year of certification on the ICC sticker. The latest ICC stickers were issued from 2009 onwards. Products with ICC marks issued before 2009 may have already deteriorated in quality and are not safe to use.
- Check the packaging. It should have the complete name and address of the importer or distributor, rated voltage and wattage of the set, rated voltage and wattage of the lamps, the words “For indoor use only”, the batch/lot code and bar code, brand name, the standard used (PNS 189:2000) and country of origin of the package.
- Check the outside diameter size of the wire. This should be 1.5 millimeters in diameter.
- Avoid connecting multiple sets of Christmas lights.Up to three (3) 50-bulb sets of Christmas lights may be connected and up to two (2) for 100-bulb set of lights.
No return, no exchange policy
What do consumers need to know about the "no return, no exchange" policy?
- "No Return, No Exchange” policy in stores is strictly prohibited. When consumers have purchased defective products from any store, they may demand for refund of their money or replacement of the item.
- Only defective products can be returned or exchanged. If a consumer had a change of mind on their purchase, they cannot return the product/s nor ask for a refund. Stores who permit this only do so out of goodwill.
- The “No Return, No Exchange” Policy does not apply to defective products due to mishandling of the buyer. The policy only covers products with factory defect/s or imperfections due to the seller’s negligence.
What do consumers need to know about price tags?
- Price tags should be clearly printed and bear no erasures or alterations.It should visibly state the price of the commodity per unit (piece, package, pair, dozen, set, kilogram, meter, litre, etc.) in Philippine currency except when a regulation allows consumer products to be sold in foreign currency. (i.e., Duty free)
- Erasures or alterations on the price tag are only allowed in price reduction sales promotion campaign.Otherwise, it is prohibited by law.
- The price indicated on the tag should match with the price appeared at the cashier. Should the prices differ, pay the lower price.
- Double price tag is prohibited. There should only be one price tag on every product. Should there be more than one price tag, consumers are to pay the lesser amount.
Noche buena products
What do consumers need to do when buying noche buena products?
- Carefully check the expiry or best before date and price tag of products prior to purchase.
- Check and compare the weights of competing brands to get the best value for your money.
- Compare the prices of Noche Buena products with the issued SRPs to avoid purchasing overpriced goods.
What do consumers need to know when paying through credit card?
- Credit card surcharge is strictly prohibited. Consumers should only pay the amount indicated on the price tag.
- Credit cardholders may demand for a refund of the surcharge. They may do so by writing to the bank with the proof of purchase bearing the billed surcharge.
- Retailers are not allowed to refuse credit card payments during sales promotion. They may only refuse such payment if the store does not honor credit cards for any sales transaction whether under promotion or regular sale.
- Do not divulge your credit card and card verification code numbers to anyone. These numbers are to be kept private. The card verification code (CVC) is the last 3-digits printed beside the cardholder’s signature at the back of the credit card. This is used to verify the legitimacy of a sales transaction done without the presence of the physical card and its holder.(i.e., online shopping)Disclosing these credit card information may lead to consumers falling into the hands of scammers and fraudsters.
What do consumers need to know about gift checks?
- Commencing 01 July 2012, issuance of gift checks/certificates/cards with expiry date will be prohibited. All gift checks/certificates with no expiry dates shall be redeemable until used up by the bearer.
- Gift checks/certificates/cards bearing an expiry beyond June 30, 2012 shall be subject to revalidation or replacement by suppliers.
- Retailers or suppliers may refuse to honor gift checks/certificates/cards under the following circumstances:
- When the gift check/certificate/card is lost due to no fault of the supplier; and
- When the gift check/certificate/card is defaced due to no fault of the supplier and such damage prevents the latter from identifying the security and authenticity features.
What do consumers need to know about airline promotions?
- All advertised promo airfares are for ONE-WAY trip only.
- The airfares indicated in promo advertisements are not the exact amount that consumers need to pay upon availing the promo. Taxes and other charges are excluded from the airfares printed and shown in advertisements. Consumers must be aware of the following additional charges:
- Mandatory Charges
- 12% VAT
- Travel Tax
- Fuel Surcharge
- Web Admin Fee/Service Fee (for online booking only)
- Optional Charges
- Travel Insurance
- Baggage Allowance
- Seat Accommodation
- Mandatory Charges
- Read and understand the terms and conditions of the airline promotion. Should you have queries/questions/concerns, contact the airline company concerned.