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Sunday, December 15, 2013

Christmas Shopping Tips - A DZMM Interview

It is the time of the year where 13th month pay and Christmas bonuses are abundantly given by companies to their employees. A time where an average person earns an extra month of wages for his one year service to the company. This is a time indeed of celebration!

But also, this is a time when most business institutions take advantage of the sudden influx of personal income. Mall-wide sales, extremely discounted products, crazy contests and lucky draws (raffle) giving away cars, international trips and a whole year supply of whatever product they can give away. All for the purpose of alluring the consumer to use their additional money.

Christmas is truly a month of economic movement. 

The downside however is that there are also business institutions that take advantage of this festive season to deceive customers. Unethical practices that aims to maximise profit by tricking consumers.

So yesterday (December 14), educational TV and Radio show Konsyumer At Iba Pa (KATBP) led by the Department of Trade & Industry Undersecretary Zeny Maglaya, aired a segment called "Tips Sa Pamimili Ngayung Pasko" (Christmas Shopping Tips). 

The topic was centred on smart tips in buying good quality products or services and how to avoid being scammed by unethical retailers both in physical stores and online stores. 

During the show, Commissioner Kim Henares from the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) called in to shed some light on how each business owners must present an official receipt. She also covered the regulations around Thermal Papers and how it affects warranty claims from faded receipts. 

Other guests invited to the show was the VP for National Affairs of the Philippine Retailers Association (PRA) Atty. Paul Santos who shared his tips on buying from physical stores. 

Ms. Rose Egmilan, Division Chief for Business Registration & Licensing  and Office-In-Charge for Consumer Assistance and Protection Division Ms. Carolina Carbonell, both from the DTI-NCR office attended the show to share the most usual consumer complaints and how permits are given to every sales promotion campaigns. 

The show was very informative and interactive. We received a lot of text messages from consumers asking questions about basic things. Which validates that not everyone is aware of their rights. 

Education is really key.

Anyway, just a recap of what I shared for people who missed the show. Here are some of my tips when shopping online for this Christmas Season. 

Christmas "Online" Shopping Tips

->RESEARCH!!! Use Google, Facebook, Forums, Review Sites to know if the website you are planning to buy is truly legitimate.
->Good online stores have a PHYSICAL office location declared in the site. CONTACT details are also important. You have to make sure they can be easily reached for any product complaint.
->Good online stores MUST HAVE a Returns Policy, Refund Policy, Terms & Conditions and any other forms of warranties and guaranties.
->Good online stores ACQUIRE PERMITS (business permits and DTI permits) and DECLARE it in their website.
->When in doubt, call DTI to validate if this is truly a legitimate website.
->For products being delivered, IMMEDIATELY open it and check for defects in front of the courier. If it is defective (which sometimes happen like any regular store), DO NOT accept it and give it back to the courier and ask them to RETURN TO SENDER. note, DO NOT PAY for the shipping fee. it should be covered by the company or the shipping fees they collect from you.
->RESEARCH RESEARCH RESEARCH -> yes, reiterating this point so it sticks!
Here are some photos during and after the live telecast. 

From Left to Right: Ma. Carolina Carbonell (OIC, Consumer Assistance & Protection Division DTI-NCR) | Rose Egmilan (Division Chief, Business Registration & Licensing Division DTI-NCR) | USEC Zeny Maglaya (DTI) | Atty. Paul Santos (VP for National Affairs, Philippine Retailers Association) | Nicco Joselito Lopez Tan (Sr. Regional Marketing Manager, LivingSocial ASIA)