No Return, No Exchange Policy: Why It Should Be Prohibited

Most consumers often experience getting their request denied because of the No Return, No Exchange store policy. Do stores really have the right to implement this policy? Pursuant to the Implementing Rules and Regulations of R.A. 7394 or also known as the Consumer Act of the Philippines, consumers have the right to return defective goods or demand remedies in the event that the goods are defective. The presence of this policy is considered as deceptive because if a consumer does not know that the items are defective or imperfect, the sellers should honor complaints and provide warranties to consumers. While there is no specific period within which a buyer may return the purchased item, the rules applied depend on the nature of the purchased goods. 

There are even instances when the store only allows the item be exchanged once. This condition is prohibited because a customer can exchange the item as many times as these are defective as long as the customer opts for replacement. If the store violates the prohibition, the customer can file a complaint with the DTI. 

Consumer Product Quality and Safety

ARTICLE 5.             Declaration of Policy. — It shall be the duty of the State:

a)              to develop and provide safety and quality standards for consumer products, including performance or use-oriented standards, codes of practice and methods of tests;

b)              to assist the consumer in evaluating the quality, including safety, performance and comparative utility of consumer products;

c)              to protect the public against unreasonable risks of injury associated with consumer products;

d)              to undertake research on quality improvement of products and investigation into causes and prevention of product related deaths, illness and injuries;

e)              to assure the public of the consistency of standardized products.

ARTICLE 6.             Implementing Agencies. — The provisions of this Article and its implementing rules and regulations shall be enforced by:

a)              the Department of Health with respect to food, drugs, cosmetics, devices and substances;

b)              the Department of Agriculture with respect to products related to agriculture, and;

c)              the Department of Trade and Industry with respect to other consumer products not specified above.

ARTICLE 7.             Promulgation and Adoption of Consumer Product Standards. — The concerned department shall establish consumer product quality and safety standards which shall consist of one or more of the following:

a)              requirements as to performance, composition, contents, design, construction, finish, packaging of a consumer product;

b)              requirements as to kind, class, grade, dimensions, weights, material;

c)              requirements as to the methods of sampling, tests and codes used to check the quality of the product;

d)              requirements as to precautions in storage, transporting and packaging;

e)              requirements that a consumer product be marked with or accompanied by clear and adequate safety warnings or instructions, or requirements respecting the form of warnings or instructions.

For this purpose, the concerned department shall adopt existing government domestic product quality and safety standards: Provided, That in the absence of such standards, the concerned department shall form specialized technical committees composed of equal number of representatives from each of the Government, business and consumer sectors to formulate, develop and purpose consumer product quality and safety standards. The said technical committees shall consult with the private sector, which may, motu proprio, develop its own quality and safety standards that shall be subject to review and approval of the concerned government agency or agencies after public hearings have been conducted for that purpose; and shall likewise consider existing international standards recognized by the Philippine Government.

ARTICLE 8.             Publication of Consumer Product Standards. — The concerned department shall, upon promulgation of the above standards, publish or cause the publication of the same in two (2) newspapers of general circulation at least once a week for a period of not less than one (1) month. It may likewise conduct an information campaign through other means deemed effective to ensure the proper guidance of consumers, businesses, industries and other sectors concerned.

ARTICLE 9.             Effectivity of Rules. — a) Each consumer product standard or safety rule shall specify the date such rule is to take effect, which shall not exceed ninety (90) days from the date promulgated unless the concerned department finds, for good cause shown, that a later effective date is in the public interest and publishes its reasons for such finding. After which, it shall no longer be legal to, or cause to, sell or distribute the consumer product not complying with the standards or rules.

b)              The department may, by regulation, prohibit a manufacturer from stockpiling consumer products so as to prevent such manufacturer from circumventing the purposes of this paragraph. The term “stockpiling” means manufacturing or importing a product between the date of promulgation of its consumer product safety rule and its effective date, at a rate which is significantly greater than the rate at which such product was produced or imported during a base period, as prescribed in the regulation under this paragraph, ending before the date of promulgation of consumer product safety rule.

Pinoy Attorney

Written by : Pinoy Attorney