• Knowledge is power


    Dear DTI Consumer Power,
    Besides the nutrition label, what else do I need to check on products before I make a purchase?
    Helen, Manila

    Dear Helen,
    A wise consumer always makes an informed choice. Knowing the basic information on consumer goods and services is the best first step to take when shopping.

    Part of the eight basic consumer rights is the right to information. But what does this mean for us consumers? This is the right to be protected against fraudulent/dishonest or misleading advertising, labeling and promotion. This also gives consumers the right to be given the facts and information needed to make an informed choice.

    What exactly is the information you need to know about a consumer product or service before making a purchase? Complete details about the product would include the following:

    1. A product’s use;
    2. Content;
    3. Chemical and/or natural ingredients;
    4. Net weight;
    5. Number of pieces;
    6. How to care for the product;
    7. Manufacturer’s contact information;
    8. Precautions;
    9. Limitations; and
    10. Expiration.

    When a product is imported and its label is printed in a different language, it should have a direct translation to either English or Filipino. With all these information, any consumer would surely be guided in their purchase of various goods and services.

    The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) also has the following tips to impart to the consuming public:

    1. Before purchasing a product, it is very important for a consumer to read the label carefully for you to be informed of its use, content, ingredients, weight and instructions on how to care for the product. In this way, you would know if this fits your needs or not.

    2. Before signing any document like warranties or guarantees, credit items or service contracts, it is vital to read and understand all the provisions in the documents especially the fine prints. This would enable you to gauge if you are entering a fair agreement or not.

    3. It is very important to read newspapers, guides or magazines before purchasing a product. Also, consult with friends who you know have purchased a similar product or availed of the same service. Doing this would help you know if a product or service can provide of what you really need.

    4. If you need to clarify something regarding the use of any product, do not hesitate to write or contact the manufacturer so that you can obtain detailed information from them.

    5. It is imperative to look for the name, address and other contact information of the manufacturer/distributor of the product or service. This would tell you who to contact in case you have queries or complaints about being sold.

    The DTI underscores the importance for consumers to make an informed choice. This would not only guide you on purchasing or availing of quality consumer products and services, but would also help you get the best value for your money. Knowing what a product or service is really meant for would also aid in ensuring your safety.

    With a wide variety of products and services in the market, consumers are more pushed to assert their right to information to protect themselves from unfair, dishonest and misleading advertising.

    The Department of Trade and Industry welcomes all inquiries, complaints, comments and suggestions from consumers. Call DTI Direct at 751-3330 from Monday to Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. or visit the DTI website www.dti.gov.ph.


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