Last April 12, a Tuesday, I went to pick up Mom at Makati. After dinner I told her I wanted to go check out the newly opened, and much-raved about FOREVER 21 store at SM Makati. Since it was late, I knew there wasn't going to be a lot of people.
So off we went and looked around. It was huge, and it is a playground for fashionistas (UNLIKE ME hahaha). I've read blogs of fellow Kulasa Anagon, my fashion idol Tin Iglesias, favorite pastimes reads Tricia Gosingtian, another fellow Kulasa Joanna Ladrido, and Patricia Prieto PRAISE Forever 21 to high heavens. So I wanted to have a look at it for myself.
The funny thing was after spending several minutes, make that close to an hour, of looking around unique-looking dresses, Mom was the one who ended up buying something. No it wasn't a dress or anything, it was a BELT worth P495. Please see picture of purchase below.
When Mom went to the counter to pay for it, the girl at the cashier gave her usual spiel which lead to this blog entry. She tells my Mother, "Ma'am we have a no return, no exchange policy for the belt". We knew she was just doing her job, but you use, the Department of Trade and Industry has this rule that SHOULD AND MUST APPLY TO ALL STORES that an item purchased can be returned, if not exchanged, 7 days AFTER THE DATE OF PURCHASE.
And the lousy excuse she gave Mom as to why we cannot exchange or return the item was it was deemed UNHYGIENIC to return a belt. Mom really gave that girl a piece of her mind. Underwear being returned or exchanged IS UNHYGIENIC but a belt? Whut!?
Oh, and another thing about SM, I don't know if you guys have noticed this but in all SM receipts, it only states THIS SERVES AS YOUR SALES INVOICE. All purchases must have an OFFICIAL RECEIPT. Landmark, Jollibee, Petron, Chowking...all of them issue OFFICIAL RECEIPTS. Why doesn't SM? Mr. Henry Sy, I think you have a lot of explaining to do at BIR.
And to Kim Henares, since you are very much into running after tax fugitives, you may want to get ALL SM stores at the top of your list. I think they've been getting away with paying taxes, it's your job to find out now.
To all fashionistas and all consumers, I think you should all be mindful of your purchases. Don't just say yes when cashier girls tell you that you can't exchange or return your items because of hygienic purposes even if it was a belt. As consumers we must all be aware of our rights. Be vigilant about that people!
P.S. If you read the comment below, an Anonymous person just commented. I have talked to a certified public accountant who has worked previously for the Supreme Court and now at the Department of Tourism, and she has told me that IT IS A BIR REQUIREMENT THAT EVERY PURCHASE MUST BE ISSUED AN OFFICIAL RECEIPT. However, she has also added that BIR also give authority that the machine tapes that some outlets or department stores issue serve as the OFFICIAL RECEIPT. But you have to double-check with the store. In the case of Forever 21 or SM, we weren't able to do this because we had no idea about this set-up. Since this has been published, I advice you do ask the girls at the counter if SM's machine tapes SERVE AS OFFICIAL RECEIPTS.
Please do not believe that merchandise purchased are EXEMPTED from being issued OFFICIAL RECEIPTS. Whatever school this anonymous person has gone to, and whatever accounting subject that is, is teaching them the WRONG STUFF! I think it is common knowledge that EVERYBODY SHOULD PAY THEIR TAXES and it is through OFFICIAL RECEIPTS that the government could keep track of this. There are way too many tax evaders in our country, so let us not add to this!