Con­sumer com­plaints to DTI surge dur­ing height of lock­down

Business World - - The Economy - — Jen­ina P. Ibañez

CON­SUMER COM­PLAINTS re­ceived in the year to date have surged past 45,000, with com­plaints ris­ing across-the-board for both on­line and off­line trans­ac­tions, many of them logged dur­ing the lock­down, ac­cord­ing to the Trade de­part­ment.

The De­part­ment of Trade and In­dus­try ( DTI) said it re­ceived 45,542 com­plaints as of Oct. 2, sig­nif­i­cantly higher than the 10,918 to­tal for 2019, Trade Un­der­sec­re­tary Ruth B. Castelo said in an on­line event on Fri­day.

Com­plaints about on­line trans­ac­tions rose to 13,981 so far, com­pared to 2,457 com­plaints for the full year pre­ced­ing. Com­plaints about off­line trans­ac­tions rose to 31,561, from 8,461 last year.

The bulk of the on­line com­plaints in­volved “de­cep­tive” sales prac­tices, de­fec­tive prod­ucts, un­rea­son­able prices, and poor cus­tomer ser­vice, Ms. Castelo said.

“Ito po ‘ yung mga na­ture of com­plaints that we re­ceived, the high­est of which is de­cep­tive or li­a­bil­ity for prod­uct and ser­vice — ‘ de­fec­tive prod­ucts that you re­ceive, kasi you or­der it on­line, it will be de­liv­ered to you and then for all you know, sira pala siya (The on­line com­plaints were mainly about de­cep­tive prac­tices and lack of li­a­bil­ity on the part of the seller, in which you dis­cover the prod­uct is de­fec­tive when it is de­liv­ered.”)

Most of the com­plaints about on­line trans­ac­tions in­volved ma­jor e- com­merce plat­forms like Shopee and Lazada, while a few were logged by sellers on so­cial me­dia plat­forms like Face­book.

Around 8,000 of the com­plaints about on­line trans­ac­tions were sub­mit­ted dur­ing the April to May pe­riod, or at the height of the strict lock­down. The de­part­ment re­ceived 1,044 in Septem­ber.

Lazada Philip­pines said sellers on on­line plat­forms should share li­a­bil­ity risk to de­ter scams, say­ing that re­mov­ing re­spon­si­bil­ity from the seller would en­cour­age scam­mers.

The com­pany’s daily seller on­board­ing totals tripled in July com­pared to Fe­bru­ary.

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