CASE DIGEST: AOWA v. DTI (G.R. No. 189655 April 13, 2011)

G.R. No. 189655 April 13, 2011. AOWA ELECTRONIC PHILIPPINES, INC., Petitioner, vs. DEPARTMENT OF TRADE AND INDUSTRY, National Capital Region, Respondent. 


DTI-NCR has received at least 273 complaints against Aowa because of their deceptive, unfair and unconscionable sales act. It is reported that, “A target customer is approached by Aowa’s representatives, usually in a mall and informs the former that he/she has won a gift or is to receive some giveaways. In certain cases, when the target customer expresses interest in the said "gift" or giveaway, Aowa’s representatives then verbally reveal that the same can only be claimed or received upon purchase of an additional product or products, which are represented to be of high quality. However, consumer complainants allege that such products are substantially priced.” Hence, DTI-NCR filed a Formal Charge against AOWA for violation of Articles 50 and 52 of the Consumer Act of the Philippines, praying that a Cease and Desist Order be issued, and [an] administrative fine be imposed, and other reliefs or remedies be granted as may be just and equitable under the circumstances. The Adjudication Officer granted the prayer of DTI. Aggrieved, Aowa appealed to the Court of Appeals but the latter affirmed the decision of the Adjudication Officer and the DTI Appeals Committee. Hence this petition.


Did CA err in affirming the findings and ruling of the Adjudication Officer and the DTI Appeals Committee?


No, the CA did not err in affirming the finding of the Adjudication Officer and the DTI Appeals Committee. 

Articles 50 and 52 of the Consumer Act were violated by Aowa. In the course of the trial, it is held that the techniques/scheme employed by Aowa were fraudulent considering that the same was being used as bait to lure customers into buying its products. Had Aowa not employed those techniques, customers would not have transacted with it.

Hence, the misrepresentation of Aowa’s representatives to their target customers and the former’s promise to the latter that they will receive gifts and prizes violate the Consumer Act.