Last 2008, the Department of Trade and Industry, Department of Agriculture, and Department of Health issued a consumer protection joint circular providing consumer protection guidelines on the selling of products and services through e-commerce.
1. E-Commerce merchants are required to adopt fair and reasonable business practices. Sell products that meet quality and safety guidelines. These products are authorized to be marketed in the Philippines having the necessary permits or licenses. (Section 3)
2. E-Commerce merchants shall refrain from engaging in any false, deceptive, and misleading advertisement. (Section 4)
3. E-Commerce merchants are required to disclose information about their business identity that includes: (section 5.1)
- Business registration number
- Name of owners
- Contact information
- Representative agent for summons
4. Information about products and services shall be posted in fair, accurate, and clear manner. Enabling consumers to make an informed decision and keep a record of information. (section 5.2)
5. Merchants shall provide sufficient information to help consumers make an informed purchasing decision that includes terms and conditions, direct and other cost, delivery restrictions, payment options, exchange policy, cancellation, refunds, warranties, among others. (section 5.3 and section 6)
6. Merchants are required to comply with data privacy regulations. This is now mandatory with the passage of the Data Privacy Act. (section 8)
7. Merchants are required to set-up their own internal complaint handling system within 3 months. However, consumers can still seek legal redress and elevate their complaint to concerned government agencies. (section 9)
For inquiries about this lesson, contact Janette Toral by sending her a private message via Facebook.