Over at my other blog, I wrote about my newly bought Sledgers espadrilles that gave up only after two hours of use. Two days later, I requested Mon to get it exchanged or refunded for me.
He trekked to SM Department Store at Megamall. It turned out that a pair is no longer available in my size, so Mon asked for a refund instead.
The SM salespersons said this was not possible and offered to give Mon a gift voucher instead. Mon called me up and the news got my blood pressure up. “I don’t want any other pair — I want the espadrilles or they give me my money back!”
The salespersons stood their ground. So did I — I called up my sister who works for DTI. She said all stores are required to give a refund for defective products, no exceptions. Indeed, I checked the DTI website and found this:
6. Can a store exercise only a policy of exchange but not refund?
Consumers are entitled to either an exchange or refund, as long as there is a defect in the quality of goods or imperfection in the service.
So folks, it is your right to have your merchandise exchanged or refunded.
My sister also gave me a number which you may call at the store while you’re in a dispute. The DTI representative will gladly explain to the store manager or salesperson your rights. The telephone number is 751.3330.
After having explained all these policies, the hapless salespersons (Mon said they looked kawawa from all the stress), who would do EVERYTHING except issue a refund because apparently it would screw their books (I’m beginning to think poverty is not this country’s number one problem; it’s bureaucracy.), thought of a solution: call other SM branches. Fortunately for them, a pair in my size is available at SM Makati and they offered to issue a voucher so that I could claim it there.
Now, I could have rejected this offer and demanded them to deliver the shoes from Makati to Megamall but I thought it was unnecessary as I had a nagging thought in my head: What if the new espadrilles turn out to be defective again?
So I asked Mon to accept the voucher and I figured I’d get boat shoes from Sebago instead (which I eventually did).