Unnecessary to Capture Unboxing Videos for Defective Items, According to DTI©

When she receives her freshly-delivered K-pop merchandise, she records an unboxing video. However, this not for a vlog entry; it's a requirement for the return policy case the items are defective or missing.

"No video, no return, no refund" policies are commonly imposed by courier-delivered items to protect both consumers and sellers from liabilities. However, did you know that this is not actually a requirement for the return policy, as stated by an official from the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI)?
According to Trade Undersecretary Ruth Castelo, "It's no longer necessary. The defective product itself serves as our evidence. There's no need for a video because the seller should not make it difficult for the buyer to file a complaint or seek redress for their grievances."

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Unboxing videos not mandatory: Essential requirements for return policies

To ensure clarity, Robert James also recorded an unboxing video of the beddings he ordered from Shopee, as a sticker on the box indicated "no video, return, no refund." Similarly, Pat, who ordered from Nike via Lazada, was asked to provide an unboxing video after complaining about not receiving the shirt she ordered.
Unboxing videos serve as proof, showcasing the condition of the item before the buyer begins using it. They act as evidence to support the buyer's claim of receiving defective or missing items, while also protecting sellers from fraudulent activities. Additionally, unboxing videos can safeguard sellers against potential damages caused by independent couriers.

The Consumer Act the Philippines, which covers e-commerce transactions as well, states:

"The service supplier is liable for redress, independently of fault, for damages caused to consumers by defects relating to the rendering of the services, as well as for insufficient or inadequate information on the fruition and hazards thereof."

"Since there is no distinction between online and offline stores in the law, we also apply it to online stores. According to the Consumer Act, 'no return, exchange' is not allowed because consumers always have the right return a product if it is damaged, defective, or does not match the description," said Castelo.

Can buyers unbox items in front of the delivery person to facilitate immediate returns? Unfortunately, this won't help, especially if the seller has engaged an independent courier, explained Castelo.

"The delivery person not involved in the sales transaction. They are only responsible for delivery, so it's easier for the consumer to keep the item," she said.
"If the buyer has paid for it, they should keep the receipt and the product as evidence when filing a complaint against the seller."

If the seller refuses returns due to a lack of videos, it is advisable to first report the issue to the online customer services of platforms like Shopee or Lazada.
If all else fails, buyers can report the matter to DTI through the hotline 1384 by sending an email to consumerc@dti.gov.ph. Castelo emphasized the importance of attaching photos of the receipt and the product when making a complaint.