With everyone in a frenzy to buy gifts and prepare for the Christmas festivities, the Bureau of Trade Regulation and Consumer Protection (BTRCP) compiled tips for consumers to help them be aware of their basic rights and prevent them from falling victim to unscrupulous transactions during the holidays.
[related|post]Safety tips on buying Christmas lights
* Check for the ICC Mark or the Import Commodity Clearance Sticker. Christmas lights with ICC marks mean they passed the mandatory safety tests of DTI. Thus, make them safe and reliable to use.
* Beware of fake ICC Mark Stickers. Genuine ICC stickers are not pre-printed on the packaging of the products. A genuine ICC mark is a foil-like hologram sticker which bears the ICC seal and the serial number and year of certification.
* Check for the year of certification on the ICC sticker. The latest ICC stickers were issued from 2009 onwards. Products with ICC marks issued before 2009 may have already deteriorated in quality and are not safe to use.
* Check the packaging. It should have the complete name and address of the importer or distributor, rated voltage and wattage of the set, rated voltage and wattage of the lamps, the words "For indoor use only," the batch/lot code and bar code, brand name, the standard used (PNS 189:2000) and country of origin of the package.
* Check the outside diameter size of the wire. This should be 1.5 millimeters in diameter.
* Avoid connecting multiple sets of Christmas lights. Up to three 50-bulb sets of Christmas lights may be connected and up to two for 100-bulb set of lights.
No return, no exchange policy
* A "No Return, No Exchange” policy in stores is strictly prohibited. When consumers have purchased defective products from any store, they may demand for refund of their money or replacement of the item.
* Only defective products can be returned or exchanged. If a consumer had a change of mind on their purchase, they cannot return the product/s nor ask for a refund. Stores who permit this only do so out of goodwill.
* The “No Return, No Exchange” Policy does not apply to defective products due to mishandling of the buyer. The policy only covers products with factory defect/s or imperfections due to the seller’s negligence.