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Consumer advocates push for penalties on online shopping platforms neglecting valid complaints

A network of digital advocates is urging for stronger measures in the form of penalties to be imposed on online shopping platforms that fail to effectively resolve valid complaints supported by substantiating evidence.

“For far too long, consumers have voiced their concerns about fake, deceptive, and defective items being sold on various online shopping platforms. With the trade department now monitoring these platforms and their sellers, consumers can find solace in knowing that their worries will be alleviated,” said Ronald Gustilo, National Campaigner of Digital Pinoys.

Numerous grievances have been raised by consumers in the realm of online shopping, including product quality issues, counterfeit merchandise, tampered parcels, delivery delays, inadequate customer support, and even instances of scams where unsuspecting buyers receive low-value items instead of the high-priced ones they had expected to purchase.

While the DTI acts as an intermediary between consumers and online shopping platforms, Gustilo argues that mediation alone is insufficient.

He emphasized the need for platforms to take prompt action and impose penalties on those that display negligence in addressing consumer complaints. Swift resolution of customer issues directly by the platforms themselves is vital, according to Gustilo.

“We have witnessed an abundance of complaints regarding fake and deceptive products, which constitute the majority of consumer grievances. Online shopping apps should be proactive in ensuring the safety and legality of their platforms by promptly addressing these issues,” Gustilo said.

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