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Consumer Welfare


No Return, No Exchange
Q. What is the legal basis of the prohibition on the " NO RETURN, NO EXCHANGE " policy of business establishments?

Pursuant to the Implementing Rules and Regulations of R. A. 7394, or the Consumer Act of the Philippines, specially Title III, Chapter I, Rule 2, Section 7 of Department Administrative Order 9 (DAO) No. 2, series 1993, the word " No Return, No Exchange ", or words to such effect shall not be written into the contract of sale, receipt or sales transaction, in any document evidencing such sale or anywhere in the store or business establishment.

Q. What is the rationale for this prohibition?

The prohibition is aimed to correct the misconception of a lot of consumers that they do not have the right to return shoddy or defective goods, or demand for remedies in case of defective or imperfect service, because of the " No Return, No Exchange " notice in the receipts or anywhere in the business establishment.

Q. Why is the presence of a " NO RETURN, NO EXCHANGE " notice considered deceptive?

Such statement is considered deceptive because consumers may return or exchange the goods or avail of other remedies in case of hidden faults or defects, or any charge not known to the buyer. By provision of law, sellers are obliged to honor their implied warranties and grant corresponding remedies to consumers.

Q. Can business establishments still issue official receipts with the " NO RETURN, NO EXCHANGE" notice?

Business establishments with unused Official Receipts should erase or blot out the words  "No Return , No Exchange " before issuing such receipts; and henceforth, such words should no longer be printed in their receipts or anywhere in their business establishments.

Q. If an item bought from store "Y" turns out to be more expensive than a similar item in store "X",
can the customer return the item and ask for a refund?

No, while consumers have the right to choose and make a canvass of prices, once a sale is consummated and the product has no defect, one cannot return the goods nor ask for a refund.

Q. Can a store exercise only a policy of exchange but not refund?

Consumers an entitled to either an exchange or refund, as long as there is a defect in the quality of goods or imperfection in the service.

Q. If the defect is due to mishandling on the part of the buyer, can he still return the item and demand an exchange or refund?

No, the prohibition covers only hidden defects, shoddy goods or imperfect service.

Q. If after buying a certain item, a customer changes his mind and wants to return the said item, can he invoke the prohibition on "NO RETURN, NO EXCHANGE"?

No, the prohibition is not an excuse for the consumers to return the goods because of a change of mind.

Q. Is there a time limit within which a buyer may return defective products?

There is no hard-and-fast rule on the period within which a customer may return the products he purchased. A rule of reason should, however, be observed, taking into consideration the nature of the item purchased and the express / implied warranties mandated by law, i.e. the New Civil Code of the Philippines.

Q. Can a buyer return defective goods without the official receipt ?

The Official Receipt is the best proof of purchase. However, a buyer may still demand replacement or refund if he can proved that a defective item was bought from a certain store.

Q. : Can a store print in their invoices the statement "EXCHANGE OF MERCHANDISE WILL NOT BE ACCEPTED WITHOUT A RECEIPT VALID OR OTHER EVIDENCE OF PURCHASE"?

No, because there may be goods exclusively manufactured or sold by a company and there is no need to prove purchase of the item.

Q. Can a store impose the condition that merchandise can only be exchanged once?

No, because merchandise can be exchanged as many times as long as these are defective and the consumer chooses the option of replacement.

Q. What should a consumer do in case a store is found violating the prohibition on the "NO RETURN, NO EXCHANGE" policy?

He / She can file a complaint with the DTI, with the following information:

  • the names and address of the complaint and the firm / entity being complained about;
  • the acts or omissions constituting the offense including the approximately date, place and time of its commission;
  • the remedy he is seeking from the Department, other than damages;
  • any other relevant information the consumer may be regarding the matter.

Q. Where should the complaint be filed?

All complaints should be addressed to the Provincial Office of the Department of Trade and Industry.

Evidence available to the complainant such as the product bought, preferably unopened or sealed; photocopy of the receipt issued to him as evidence of the sale; advertising materials or brochures advertising the product; etc., should be brought by the complainant to the DTI Provincial Office.

Q. What are the remedies available to consumers under the rules mentioned above?

  • For quality defects, the customer has the right to choose:
    • Replacement of the product by another of the same kind in a perfect state for use;
    • immediate reimbursement of the amount paid;
    • proportionate price reduction;
  • For product quantity imperfection, the consumer may demand alternatively at hiss option:
    • the proportionate prices;
    • the supplementing weight or measure differential;
    • the replacement of the product by another of the same kind, mark or model, without said imperfections;
    • immediate reimbursement of the amount paid, with monetary updating without prejudice to losses and damages, if any.

Q. Can the statement "EXCHANGE WILL NOT BE ACCEPTED ON ITEM IN ANY WAY USED, DAMAGED OR  ALTERED" be printed on invoices?

No, because there may be items which can determined as defective only when used. Moreover, the right to determine whether goods are damaged or altered cannot be reserved exclusively for the company since this is a matter between the customer and the company.

Q. Is the condition "SALE ITEMS ARE NON-REFUNDABLE" allowed?

This has the same effect as the " No Return, No exchange " provision. However, in the case of sales promotions like " water- or fire-damaged sale, " the statement may be allowed provided the defects are apparent and visible to the consumer and that proper disclosure in the form of tags or notices are made at the time of purchase.

Q. What is the penalty for violation of this provision?

  • A. Criminal Penalties
    A fine of not less than five hundred ( P500.00 ) pesos but not more than twenty thousand pesos ( P20,000.00 ) or imprisonment of not less than three (3) months but not more than two (2) years or both, at the discretion of the court: Provided, that, if the consumer product is one which is not a food, cosmetic, drug, device or hazardous substance, the penalty shall be not less than two hundred pesos (P200.00) or imprisonment of not less then one (1) moth but not more than (1) year or both at the discretion of the court.
  • B. Administrative Penalties
    Imposition of administrative fines in such amount as deemed reasonable by the Secretary, which in no case be less than Five Hundred Pesos (P500.00) nor more than three Hundred Thousand Pesos (P300,000.00) depending on the gravity of the offense, and an additional fine of not more than One Thousand Pesos (P1,000.00) for each day of continuing violations. (Please refer to Article 164, Consumer Act, for other Administrative Penalties).


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