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UAE Government turns good Samaritan for consumers

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It sure looks like the UAE government is leaving no stone unturned to ensure consumers in the country are protected and informed. But is there a catch somewhere?

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June 25, 2012 4:39 by



It sure looks like the UAE government is leaving no stone unturned to ensure consumers in the country are protected and informed. But is there a catch somewhere?

The Ministry of Economy has warned retailers in the country that they will face fines of up to Dh1 million, if found guilty of selling substandard products and manipulating price.

Earlier this month, a team from UAE’s Department of Economic Development cracked down on a few retailers and handed them fines to the tune of AED 25,000 for displaying misleading information on their discount sales, for consumers and tourists.

The ministry also announced that the revised version of the Consumer Protection Law aims to tackle issues relating to consumer rights, responsibilities and liabilities, apart from specifying penalties to be imposed for commercial malpractices.

Kipp can’t help but wonder if this announcement is a case of convenient timing, more than anything else. The news comes during the annual ‘Summer surprises’ promotion across malls in Dubai, held every year, to boost sales in the sweltering hot season. Abu Dhabi has also recently launched its summer discount promotion at Marina Mall. Perhaps the ministry is hoping to instill confidence in resident consumers as well as tourists, to send the cash registers ringing with this news, during the lean summer months.

But then again, maybe it’s just a fantastic coincidence.

The Department of Economic Development has also announced that it will launch an index to rate the UAE’s best and worst firms in terms of customer service.  Due to launch in the second half of 2012, the index will aim to bolster customer service, increase business competitiveness and strengthen consumer rights. It will take into consideration, factors such as the number of complaints received against a business, the time taken to resolve these complains, product pricing compared to competing businesses, and customer satisfaction levels.

This sounds like an interesting prospect for consumers in the UAE, but only if the index is genuine and accurate. Will the index include government owned brands such as Etisalat and Du as well; because it would be fascinating to see where they rank in the government’s own consumer service index. Kipp looks forward to it!



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