According to the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), of the nearly 28,000 consumer complaints it received in 2022, more than 12,000 or 44% involved online transactions. The figures are based on the data of the Fair Trade Enforcement Bureau (FTEB).
“The pandemic showed us the potential and significance of e-commerce as an economic recovery catalyst,” Trade Secretary Alfredo Pascual said during the induction of officers of the Ad Standards Council’s (ASC). “Unfortunately, as with most things, digital method cuts both ways. Globally, from 2019 to 2022, the 80% increase in digital transactions resulted in 80% growth in suspected digital fraud attempts.”
The DTI said of the 27,947 complaints, 2,484 cases were resolved, 9,093 others were endorsed to appropriate government agencies, 394 were withdrawn, and the remaining 199 complainants were issued Certificates to File Action.
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“The most frequent nature of complaints received were those involving liability for product and service imperfection, deceptive, unfair, or unconscionable sales act or practices, and misleading advertisement and fraudulent sales promotion,” the DTI said in a statement.
To reduce complaints and ensure consumer protection, the DTI pushes to create a trust mark on e-commerce sites under the proposed Internet Transaction Act. This will enable a more pleasant shopping experience for consumers. Small businesses will also benefit from this as the trust mark will give consumers the opportunity to patronize brands and buy only from trusted sources.
“I would like to emphasize that the government and private sector must both be proactive and responsive to the changing circumstances of this digitalized world,” Pascual said.
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