It IS possible to file for complaints against businesses with dodgy practices of any form, that can range from transactions to labor practices. My biggest thanks to Ms. Cheng, a “real customer with valid complaints” as she says, who informed me of the mediation process any consumer can resort to, with the assistance of the Department of Trade and Industry’s Fair Trade Enforcement Bureau (FTEB).
It’s enlightening to know there still exists government agencies passionate about their work, who do all they can to give a voice to consumers who do not have the money to bring the case to courts.
Remember, DTI can’t do anything until people file for complaints.
Here is how you can bring your complaint to the Fair Trade Enforcement Bureau (FTEB):
A. Email the bureau [ firstname.lastname@example.org ] along with the following requirements:
- Complete name, address and contact number of complainant
- Complete name, address and contact number of respondent
- Narration of facts
- Scanned proof of transaction/s
- Scanned government-issued ID of the complainant
B. You will receive an acknowledgement email that your complaint has been received.
C. You will receive an email that your complaint is now in the process of mediation, and you will be informed of the schedules for you to meet with the respondent at DTI FTEB.
D. Follow-up on your case at +63 (02) 975-7965, or visit FTEB’s office at Ground Floor, UPRC Building, 315 Sen. Gil Puyat Avenue, Makati City.
Know, too, that this is the Philippines where consumer rights are almost non-existent. Why? Philippine society being largely built on the padrino (patronage) system, long cited as the major drag on the country’s development. However, I think it’s still worth anyone’s while to step up for themselves. Who knows?