From January to December 2017, the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), through its Fair Trade Enforcement Bureau (FTEB), received a total of 7,847 consumer complaints nationwide. Twenty-one percent or 1,670 of these were endorsed to other government agencies (16% or 1,249) and to other DTI offices/bureaus (5% or 421) for appropriate action.
DTI Secretary Ramon M. Lopez reports, “The augmented efforts of the mediation and adjudication teams of the DTI’s Fair Trade Enforcement Bureau (FTEB) resulted to the prompt redress of consumer complaints. For 2017, the DTI achieved a resolution rate of 99.38% on consumer complaints filed to the DTI-FTEB.” – Trade Secretary Ramon M. Lopez.
DTI-Consumer Protection Group (CPG) Undersecretary Atty. Ruth B. Castelo further reports, “In parallel to resolving received complaints, the DTI received a client satisfactory feedback of 88.91%”.
One of the complainants, Mr. Erwin V. Salaveria, expressed his gratitude to DTI through email. “On behalf of my colleagues who received the refund, I would like to thank the DTI-FTEB for the speedy resolution of our case. Special thanks to the Adjudication Division, for the guidance on the next steps, for clarifying the possible scenarios/ outcome of the case, and for pursuing the respondents to immediately comply with the decision. I hope the DTI-FTEB can help more people the way they have defended our rights as consumers and have helped us get back our hard-earned money. More power to all of you!”
Another consumer, Ms. Mary Grace B. Muncal, said that she and the adverse party had agreed with an amicable settlement through the help of the Mediation Division. “It is in this note that I extend my gratitude to you and your office's prompt and fair assistance to us consumers,” she added.
Ms. Rosalinda Book, also expressed her gratitude to the DTI-FTEB. “I salute your office and your group for the fast reply and action on my email. I was advised by the company, to get and choose the replacement of my damaged bag. So happy to get the new bag tonight,” she said.
Pursuant to the Department Administrative Order (DAO) No. 13-20, Series of 2013, the resolution of complaints falling under the DTI’s jurisdiction shall not exceed 10 working days by mediation and 20 working days by adjudication. Two thousand seven hundred ninety-three of 2,805 (99.57%) consumer complaints that were processed through mediation were resolved within 10 working days.
On the other hand, 235 consumer complaints were elevated for adjudication. Two hundred twenty-six of 228 or 99.12% of the arbitrated cases for adjudication were resolved within 20 working days.
However, the DTI also reports that there were 1,513 dismissed consumer complaints due inadequate information from the respondent such as address. The DTI had to archive 1,624 consumer complaints due to the complainants’ disinterest and indetermination to pursue their complaints.
“The Department encourages consumers to report violations against their right to be compensated for sales misinterpretation, shoddy goods, and unsatisfactory services”, Secretary Lopez underscores.