RIYADH: With the festive mood in the last phase of Ramadan and Eid Al-Fitr just round the corner, when people do more shopping, the Saudi Ministry of Commerce and Investment (MCI) has stepped up its inspections of sales and promotions.
“The MCI has carried out an inspection campaign targeting shopping centers and markets across the Kingdom to verify the reality of promotional offers, sales and competitions during this time,” the media department said on Sunday.
The campaign aims to protect and preserve consumer rights, it said, adding these campaigns are part of MCI’s seasonal drive to check and control the market and ensure the availability of goods. It will verify the validity of goods, to monitor cases of fraud and price manipulation, and take the necessary actions to ensure proper supply to meet the public demand.
The ministry has also warned consumers to take care while shopping online, urging them to report the sale of counterfeit products online.
So far, the campaign has inspected 5,953 commercial establishments, and found that 91 were breaking commercial regulations, with misleading and false promotions.
The owners were summoned by the MCI for taking the appropriate legal procedures against them.
Inspectors found instances of making sales and promotions without obtaining a proper license, as well as not placing the price tag to show the price before and after the promotion, in addition to the difference between the price on the shelf and the one with the cashier.
The MCI will continue its campaign to protect the consumer. It has urged consumers to report any breaches through the Consumer Call Center (1900) or to make a Commercial Violation Report via the smartphones, or via the Ministry’s website.
Zeyad Mohammed, an IT professional in Riyadh, said: “This is a good move to ensure transparency at the shopping centers as sometimes shoppers feel cheated with the promotional offers, which he hope will be avoided by this campaign.”
Sharing his experience of Maroof, an MCI initiative to support e-commerce in the Kingdom, Mohammed told Arab News: “Going with the Maroof is a better idea to avoid the online fraud many of us may face.”
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