Saturday 30, January 2016

Dubai – MENA Herald: Consumer complaints received at the Department of Economic Development (DED) in Dubai increased to 21,896 in 2015, an increase of 59% from the 13,770 complaints received in 2014, as varied campaigns initiated by DED helped improve consumer awareness. The rise in complaints also reflect the improved ease in submitting consumer complaints to DED through different channels.

As Dubai is acknowledged as a flourishing hub for varied services, the largest share of complaints received last year – 44% – also came from the Service sector. Electronics (23%), Automobiles (13%), Textile & Accessories (9%) and Furniture (3%) were the individual sectors that followed in the number of complaints while 8% of the complaints came from other sectors.

“Persistent efforts by the Department of Economic Development to improve consumer awareness have brought encouraging results in recent years. Last year also we took our efforts to a new level, forging strategic partnerships with the private sector and delivering our consumer rights messages to the general public across different platforms,” commented Mohammed Rashed Ali Lootah, Executive Director of the Commercial Compliance & Consumer Protection (CCCP) sector in DED.

Lootah added that consumers raising their concerns with the authorities concerned helps efforts to enhance retail sector competitiveness and overall ease of doing business in Dubai. “Ultimately, it works to the advantage of consumers and traders – it creates a harmonious environment of mutual respect in the retail sector, and strengthens Dubai’s attractiveness as a shopping destination.”

Violation of purchase agreement accounted for 33% of the complaints received in 2015 while 14% of the complaints were related to refunds and 13%, involving defective products. Disputes related to counterfeits, violation of warranty terms and exchanges took 5% each of the total complaints while 3% were about fees charged and 2% about non-adherence to displayed prices. There was also various other complaints that together accounted for 19%.

“In addition to improved awareness on their rights and responsibilities consumers are also finding it easier to submit a complaint nowadays with additional options available online and across social media,” remarked Lootah. To submit a complaint consumers can call Ahlan Dubai on 600 54 5555, visit DED’s smart phone application ‘Sallety’ or use the Twitter hashtag #Dubai_consumers.