Consumer complaints in Dubai surge; refunds top list of gripes

More than 14,000 complaints lodged in three months

People shop at a supermarket, following the outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, March 26, 2020.

People shop at a supermarket, following the outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, March 26, 2020.

REUTERS/Christopher Pike

Consumers in Dubai appeared to be more active in airing their grievances in recent months, with the Dubai Economy logging a total of 14,274 complaints during the third quarter of 2020.

The number of complaints recorded during the period was 39 percent higher than the 10,266 disputes raised a year earlier.

Refunds topped the list of consumer complaints, accounting for 28 percent of the cases, followed by non-compliance with the terms of the agreement (15.85 percent) and product damage or defect (15.14 percent).

Some customers also made complaints related to commercial fraud (10 percent), non-compliance with after-sales service (6.23 percent), additional fees for the service or product (5.21 percent), replacement (4 percent) and unauthorised commercial activity (3.36 percent).

In a statement, the Dubai Economy said the growth in the number of complaints reflects their “persistent efforts” to protect consumers, improve awareness and promote transparency, as well as fair merchant-consumer relations.

“Dubai Economy is keen on enhancing consumer confidence in the emirate through resolving consumer complaints amicably, thus promoting mutual trust between merchants and consumers. Our awareness programmes are aimed to clarify the rights and duties of consumers, as well as merchants, and enhance the principles of transparency in transactions,” said Mohammed Ali Rashed Lootah, CEO of CCCP.

“More and more consumers interacting with Dubai Economy and filing their complaints show improving consumer rights awareness. Consumers raising their queries and complaints to the authorities concerned, and having them resolved satisfactorily is important to ensuring a healthy and compliant business environment,” he added.

Most of the complaints received by the agency’s Commercial Compliance and Consumer Protection sector were related to services, accounting for 32 percent of the cases submitted, followed by electronics (16 percent) e-commerce (12.6 percent and ready-made garments and accessories (8.2 percent).

There were also complaints related to furniture (7.3 percent), automobiles (5.5 percent), freight (5.2 percent), car rental (3.28 percent), decoration and building maintenance (3.22 percent), textiles and personal items (3.16 percent), car workshops (2.4 percent) and hair salons (1.1 percent).

(Writing by Cleofe Maceda; editing by Mily Chakrabarty) 

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© ZAWYA 2020

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