BAGUIO CITY – The City Council approved on first reading a proposed ordinance known as the anti-no return no exchange policy measure in the city.
The ordinance authored by Councilor Leandro B. Yangot, Jr. stated that the provisions of the measure shall apply to all establishments registered and within the jurisdiction of the local government.
Under the proposed ordinance, every retail establishment which is registered and doing business in the city must post written notices of its return or exchange policy conspicuously inside their businesses or their entrances and that the notice shall be made in a clear language to ensure that the consumer can understand the same.
In the event that a retail establishment does not have a return or exchange policy, the ordinance stipulated that the concerned establishments shall adopt policies wherein the buyer may return a purchased item to the immediate seller within 7 days by presenting the official receipt or any proof of purchase for the transaction, and thereafter the buyer shall be entitled to avail of any of the remedies, particularly the replacement of purchased item with a new working item of the same kind and quality, the return of the purchased item, or the seller shall provide the purchaser with store credit equivalent to the value of the item returned or the purchased item may be returned in exchange with another item of equal or greater value provided that the purchaser shall pay the corresponding difference of the price, at the buyer’s own choice.
However the ordinance added that, among the items that cannot be returned include clothing, underwear, lingerie and other similar products when the same had been actually used by the purchaser; items or products which have sustained damages resulting from intentional mishandling of the purchaser and spoiled consumable or food products resulting from the negligence of the purchaser.
The ordinance outlined that retailers who do not actually comply with the posting or notice requirements under the provisions of the measure will be required to accept items returned within 7 days from purchase and observe the default return and exchange policy.
In the event that a retailer refuses to accept any item sought to be returned by a purchaser, the ordinance stated that the retailer will be penalized by a fine of P1,000 and in the event that a retailer violates any of the pertinent provisions of the measure for three consecutive times within a period of six months, the latter shall not be allowed to conduct any business operation until it complies with the expressed regulations.
The Permits and Licensing Division of the City Mayor’s Office shall lead in the strict implementation of the provisions of the ordinance.
Yangot explained the proposed ordinance seeks to regulate, if not establish, a standard of conduct for businesses concerning their return and exchange policies which would serve as further protection to consumers against unconscionable, deceptive and unfair sales acts and practices of businessmen and to effectively and efficiently address the proper exercise of rights by the consuming public in the different parts of the city.
By Dexter A. See