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This is regarding my complaint filed with the Fair Trade Enforcement Bureau (FTEB) of the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) of the Philippines against the Gokongwei-owned Robinsons Malls on their arbitrary invalidation of old-design Robinsons Gift Certificates (GC) beginning June 1, 2016.

I’ve met with Gokongwei-owned Robinsons Malls representatives during mediation set by the Department of Trade and Industry’s (DTI) Fair Trade Enforcement Bureau (FTEB) last July 11, 2016 and sadly, Gokongwei-owned Robinsons Malls’ representatives reaffirmed that the old-design Gift Certificates (GC) will still not be honored in any of their establishments nationwide and they will only replace the said old-design Gift Certificates (GC) during a mediation session like the one that we had.

In fact, they even refused to make the effort to inform old-design Robinsons Gift Certificates (GC) holders who may try to redeem the old-design Gift Certificates (GC) at the store/establishment level that old-design Robinsons Gift Certificates (GC) can still be replaced using that process. This simply means that if old-design Robinsons Gift Certificates (GC) holders don’t think of filing a complaint with Fair Trade Enforcement Bureau (FTEB) and/or bother to come for a mediation meeting, their old-design Gift Certificates (GC) will remain WORTHLESS!

With the Gokongwei-owned Robinsons Malls’ failure and continued reluctance to reach out via social media and world wide web to affected GC holders in the Philippines, combined un-redeemed and now worthless old-design Robinsons Gift Certificates (GC) still in the hands of unwitting Filipino consumers may reach the hundreds of thousands of pesos, if not in millions.

Gokongwei-owned Robinsons Malls representatives said that while expiry dates are not allowed, coming out with a new design to replace the old and invalidating the latter (effectively robbing consumers of their hard-earned money ) is a grey area with no definitive guidelines prohibiting the practice. Where this allegation is correct or not, what they did was certainly IMMORAL AND UNFAIR because they circumvented the NO EXPIRY DATE spirit and worse – they can expire with impunity by coming out with a new design and taking people’s hard-earned cash anytime with BARELY or the LEAST NOTICE at all.

Considering these, my complaint against this immoral and unfair business practice of the Gokongwei-owned Robinsons Malls remains unanswered and unsatisfied. It seems that the Fair Trade Enforcement Bureau (FTEB) of the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) of the Philippines is powerless to compel the Gokongwei-owned Robinsons Malls to stop this practice of circumventing the spirit of the “no-expiry date” policy.

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