Special team to monitor consumer rights violations by retailers UAE

A specialised team to monitor retail commerce activities and ensure the implementation of the Consumer Protection Law has been formed

Dubai: A specialised team to monitor retail commerce activities and ensure the implementation of the Consumer Protection Law has been formed by the Department of Economic Development in Dubai (DED), Omar Bu Shahab, executive director of Commercial Compliance and Consumer Protection at the DED told Gulf News.

“The mission of this team is to monitor whether retailers in the actual market as well as eCommerce businesses are respecting consumer rights and following fair business, advertising and marketing practices, besides dealing with consumer complaints,” Bu Shahab said.

The mission of this team is to monitor whether retailers in the actual market as well as eCommerce businesses are respecting consumer rights

Omar Bu Shahab, executive director of Commercial Compliance and Consumer Protection at the DED

The Consumer Protection Section of DED has designated the special team to provide information to both retailer and consumers, help resolve disputes and to investigate complaints through their website or helpline number.

The department will also be launching an awareness campaign to bring to the attention of traders and retailers a set of stringent regulations making it mandatory for them to respect customer services and consumer rights, Bu Shahab said.

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The DED always follows up all complaints and immediately initiates action if consumer rights have been breached by businesses, he said.

“The government, business operators and consumer protection team should work together to promote self-regulation, education, technological applications and adherence to regulations to achieve this goal,” he added.

“However, the DED initiatives aim to ensure legal certainty and consumer confidence by laying down a clear and general framework to cover certain legal aspects of electronic commerce in the internal market,” the official said.

Bu Shahab said that consumers should enjoy as much protection in electronic commerce as in other transaction modes. “Businesses will have one set of standards for commercial communications on their websites and via traditional commerce,” he said.

Moreover, if an online overseas trader is found to have been carrying on business in the UAE, the UAE consumer protection laws will also be applicable to them.

The UAE consumer protection law also answers to other issues such as unfair terms or violations in consumer contracts, misleading and comparative advertising, consumer credit, indication of prices, general product safety, injunction, liability for defective products and sale of consumer goods and associated guarantees.

Bu Shahab called on consumers to do their homework on the trading establishments they were dealing with before buying goods or services online. Knowing the full details before entering into an agreement with a trader would help consumers know what to expect on buying goods or services from particular companies, he added.

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