Shopee and Lazada, the country’s two biggest online shopping platforms, have accounted for majority of the 13,674 online consumer complaints received by the Fair Trade Enforcement Bureau of the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI).
DTI Undersecretary Ruth Castelo, who heads the agency’s consumer protection group, revealed during a webinar hosted by the Union of Local Authorities of the Philippines (ULAP) last Friday of the growing number of consumer complaints against online sellers.
Based on the DTI data, 88.03 percent of the total online complains from January to September 25 this year were lodged against Lazada and Shopee. The remaining 13.97 percent were complaints involving transactions with Facebook and other online platforms.
Of the total, there were 3,000 complaints against Shopee and 2,830 versus Lazada. In 2019, these two firms got smaller complaints with Shopee having only 607 Lazada at 1,014. Other platforms tallied 836 complaints
Comparatively, Castelo noted there were only 2,457 complaints in the entire of 2019 as against the almost 14,000 in the first three quarters of 2020.
The top three complaints were related to Price Act (55%), defective products (21.03%), and deceptive, unfair, or unconscionable sales acts or practices (13.86%).
She attributed the rise in online consumer complaints to the 6 months of community quarantine where consumers are forced to buy online because of movement restrictions.
Since DTI has adopted a “no wrong door” policy, Castelo said they accept all consumer complaints, but those that do not belong to DTI jurisdiction are being endorsed to other concerned government agencies.