Monday 8, August 2016

Dubai – MENA Herald: Officials from the Department of Economic Development (DED) in Dubai recently held a meeting with seven major automobile dealers in Dubai to discuss the establishment of Consumer Protection Counters in car showrooms. The automobile dealers were briefed on the guidelines regarding the Consumer Protection Counter and the need for establishing the counters by the beginning of 2017.

The ‘Consumer Protection Counter’ is a DED initiative to enable consumers and traders resolve complaints amicably and quickly before elevating it to the Consumer Protection section of DED. Consumers not satisfied with the response from the Consumer Protection Counter can still raise their complaints with DED on the Ahlan Dubai number 600 54 5555.

Officials from the Commercial Compliance & Consumer Protection (CCCP) sector in DED visited major car agencies in Dubai including Al Rostamani Automobiles, Al Futtaim Motors, Juma Al Majid Automobiles, and Gargash Enterprises to discuss various aspects related to the counters.

The role and importance of the counters in strengthening the relations between traders and consumers and common complaints that can be resolved verbally, without any obligations on either party, or fines, were highlighted during the meetings. DED had earlier held similar meetings with seven hypermarkets in Dubai in the first phase.
Mohammed Ali Rashid Lootah, CEO of CCCP said the Consumer Protection Counter will contribute significantly to harmonious relations in Dubai’s retail segment and enhance the emirate’s reputation as a shopping destination and regional as well as global business hub.

“The automobile sector accounted for 2,430 of the consumer complaints we received in the first half of 2016. In fact the sector stood third in terms of consumer complaints, with a 15% share and up to 73% of them were either related to non-compliance with the terms of the agreement, refund, or defective products. A Consumer Protection Counter will help speed up complaint resolution, and thus lead to fewer complaints at the DED call centre,” added Lootah.

Ahmad Al Awadi, Head of the Commercial Protection Section at DED, pointed out although most automobile dealerships already have facilities for receiving customer complaints, they do not comply with the standards now set by DED. As per the standards collaboratively developed by DED the Consumer Protection Counter will serve as the first point of contact for aggrieved consumers.

“The counter should be located in a prominently visible area within the showroom and should have bilingual (Arabic/English) staff to receive complaints. There are also clear instructions on the procedures to be followed in receiving consumers and their complaints as well as in providing them information on DED’s consumer protection channels in case they are not satisfied with the service available at the counter. The counter should maintain a record of all complaints, whether solved or unresolved, as well as the action taken on each of them,” added Al Awadi.

CCCP has also began to receive requests from retail outlets for training their staff on the standards and procedures to be followed at the Consumer Protection Counter.