Several people are asking what happened to the administrative order issued by the Department of Trade and Industry in June last year requiring commercial establishments to remove expiration dates from their gift certificates, checks and cards.
As reported in the newspapers, the order, announced by DTI Undersecretary Zenaida Maglaya, was supposed to take effect about a month later.
Since then, however, nothing has been heard about the order. And GCs still have expiration dates.
Somebody said DTI had suspended implementation because some major retailers appealed (or protested?). But that is unverified information.
I tried to get an update from the department’s consumer welfare division, but I have yet to receive a reply to the e-mailed query.
In response to a letter from Blanche Gallardo, the Philippine Long Distance Telephone Company said its directory partner, Directories Philippines Corp. (DPC), “already has an existing online directory service called Electronic Yellow Pages, which may be viewed at http://www.e-yellowpages.ph. Through this site, customers are able to perform an online search of most of the telephone numbers advertised in our yellow pages, particularly on business companies and offices.”
I have not visited the site yet, but I intend to do so soon. I myself would like to see if it is more helpful than the printed phone books. Just last week, I was looking for the service center of an appliance manufacturer, and, despite going through two volumes of the four-volume directory, I still could not find what I was looking for.
Maybe I just don’t know how to navigate the phone book, or perhaps the companies are just not very specific about the information they provide.
In her letter, Eleanor O. Rodrigo, head, inbound customer contact services, customer care assurance of PLDT, apologized to Gallardo for her frustrating experience “in using our telephone directories and in calling our directory information hotline.”
Rodrigo said they had shared Gallardo’s comments and observations with the DPC, which publishes the phone books, “particularly on the difficulty in finding telephone numbers printed in our directory. We have also asked them to review the same and make the necessary changes in the directory layout should they find the need to do so.”
She added that they were discussing with sister company Smart the possibility of allowing PLDT customers to get directory information through SMS (short message service) or text messaging, as it is popularly known, “especially during peak hours of our 187 hotline.”
There are likely to be charges, of course, but then if you call PLDT’s directory assistance, you also have to pay a fee.
Rodrigo said PLDT was “doing our best to continuously find ways to improve our service to our customers.”
A customer of Land Bank of the Philippines (LBP) Malaybalay branch at Belderol Bldg., Fortich St., Malaybalay City, Bukidnon, wants to call the attention of officials to its very cramped space.
The client, who does not wish to be identified, says it is very difficult to do business in the branch because there is always a large crowd due to lack of space. The congestion makes it very uncomfortable for everyone as, despite the air-conditioning, the place gets very hot because of so many people, he says. Some clients, he adds, wonder why a commercial bank cannot provide a comfortable place for them.
He hopes the bank soon implements what is apparently a long-existing plan to build or move to new offices.
Send letters to The Consumer, Lifestyle Section, Philippine Daily Inquirer, 1098 Chino Roces Ave. cor. Mascardo and Yague Sts., 1204 Makati City; fax 8974793/94; or e-mail [email protected]