Dear DTI Consumer Power,
If the product sold to me turned out to be defective, what are my rights as a consumer?
In shopping, the most dreadful thing that can happen to you is to find out that you’ve been sold a defective product. When this happens, there are steps that consumers can take to seek redress.
Filing a complaint with the store as soon as you find out that something is wrong with the product is the best first step to take. This way, you will know earlier the solutions that the vendor can give you, and the necessary steps you need to take to address the problem. Avoid bringing the product to unauthorized service or repair shops. Retail stores usually ask their customers to submit the alleged defective product for intricate testing upon receiving a complaint in order to validate them. This helps them in identifying the causes of the problem, so they could draft solutions and determine whether the product can still be repaired, or if it merits a replacement or refund.
The 3 R’s: Repair, Replacement and Refund are the options that consumers have when the product or service they bought is defective. If ever you opted to have the product repaired and the service center failed to mend it, you may now demand for either replacement or refund.
However, on doing repair on the product, you may set conditions for it to relieve and protect you from your worries that they may do something to the product, without your knowledge and consent. You may ask them to do it in your presence so you may witness everything that they will do to it. In this way, unnecessary actions can be avoided and honest results can be assured.
Remember, all products being sold in the market must have a warranty. If a product is deemed defective, the consumer has the right to seek for repair, refund or replacement as means of redress. Consumers must therefore remember to read and understand the terms and conditions of the warranty before entering into any purchase transaction. They should also understand that as stated in the Consumer Act of the Philippines, or Republic Act 7394, if the fault of the product is caused by the consumer, the warranty is automatically voided.
* * *
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.