DTI calls to protect online consumers-A A +A
By JM Agreda
Friday, October 4, 2013
THE Department of Trade and Industry is pushing for an enhanced Consumer Welfare Act to protect the rights of patrons of online shops and traders.
Lawyer Sam Gallardo, Consumer and Trade Welfare Regulation officer of the Department of Trade and Industry, said complaints lodged against online sellers, despite summoning these traders through legal means, is no guarantee sellers will come with any relief given to consumers.
Gallardo also cautioned buyers from transacting with online sellers based abroad as there is no way for the DTI to have jurisdiction over these traders.
The DTI, he said, is now looking for ways to enhance the enforcement of the Consumer Welfare Act taking into considerations these cross-border transactions and online trade so that consumers will be better protected.
"Sometimes even if you award the rights of the consumers there is no way we can trace the whereabouts of the trader so the consumers end up without their goods being replaced or they be given their money back," he said.
This as he explained most online traders do not disclose their complete names and addresses or provide means for complaints to be lodged against their services or products sold.
He said not only the DTI but also the Bureau of Internal Revenue among other agencies is now enhancing their regulations on online trade.
He further said a Technical Working Group at the DTI-Manila is now looking at these gray areas to protect online buyers from unscrupulous traders taking advantage of these current loopholes in existing laws.
Published in the Sun.Star Baguio newspaper on October 05, 2013.