Monday, June 17, 2024

Solon issues warning against online retailers who ‘PM’ their prices

House of Representatives minority leader Marcelino “Nonoy” Libanan has issued a warning on amid the last-minute holiday online shopping rush.

Graphic image from DTI

“Online retailers who do not put price tags on their products, and who only divulge their prices via private message (PM) to prospective buyers, are violating the law,” Libanan said.

Libanan, a lawyer by profession, also said that under the Consumer Act of 1992, a product cannot be sold at a price higher than what is indicated in the price tag.

“We must stress that the law compels all retailers, under pain of penalties, to put price tags on their products for all consumers to see. This applies to all retailers, regardless whether they are selling online or in physical stores,” he added.

Under the law, retailers are prohibited from offering any product for sale to the public without a price tag in pesos and centavos, according to Libanan.

Many online retailers, including those selling through social media platforms, continue to display their products for sale without price tags, according to him.

They merely provide photos of their products along with other details, and then wait for consumers to ask for the price of the item they are interested in buying.

When consumers openly ask for an item’s price, the retailers would then reply with: “PM sent.”

Libanan said Congress passed the Consumer Act, or Republic Act No. 7394, to ensure absolute pricing transparency and to safeguard the public against potential pricing abuses.

Under the 30-year-old law, Libanan said violators of the price tag rule can face up to six months in prison, or a fine of up to P5,000, or both, at the discretion of the court. Repeat offenders can face revocation of business permit and license.

The law defines retailer as “a person engaged in the business of selling consumer products directly to consumers.”


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