Resolving consumer complaints

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Dear DTI Consumer Power,
Can you please tell me how the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) address the complaints you receive from consumers? I would like to know the process before I decide to file a formal complaint with your agency.
James, Pateros

Dear James,
Part of our rights as consumers is the right to redress, or the right to be compensated for misrepresentation, defective products and unsatisfactory services. In case you encounter problems with the product or service that you bought, we advice that you go back to the store and look for their Consumer Welfare Desk (CWD) to seek for redress. Should they fail to properly address your concern, you may opt to file a formal complaint with the DTI by going to the nearest office of the agency.

In handling consumer complaints, the DTI makes use of Alternative Dispute Resolution techniques which aim to settle complaints amicably. If the complaint lodged with the DTI is under its jurisdiction, the parties involved will be invited to a mediation conference to discuss about the complaint and negotiate an amicable settlement in the presence of a DTI mediation officer. Should mediation fail, the complaint will be escalated to arbitration, wherein it will be referred to a DTI arbitration officer who will review the evidences of the case to reach a decision that may be legally binding and enforceable to both parties.

The distinction between mediation and arbitration procedures lies on the role that DTI, or whichever concerned agency, plays in the resolution of the complaint. In mediation, a neutral third party (mediation officer) will be part of the settlement for he or she assists the parties involved to reach a compromise while in arbitration; the arbitration officer is totally taken out of the settlement for he or she will decide on the case based from the evidences presented by the parties.


The time it takes for the complaint to be resolved depends on the gravity of the case. Yet, the DTI realizes the importance of providing speedy redress to consumers, thus a proposed harmonized mediation and arbitration procedures was drafted by its Bureau of Trade Regulation and Consumer Protection (BTRCP) to address this. Once approved, consumers are assured to get speedy resolution on their complaints.

Further to this, the DTI ensures the consuming public that all consumer complaints lodged with the department that aren’t under its jurisdiction are endorsed to the rightful agency for appropriate action, and these are constantly monitored to be sure that these are acted upon.

For more information on your right to redress or to file a complaint on the product and/or service you bought, call DTI Direct 751-3330.

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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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