Consumer protection counters at car dealers from 2017

The Department of Economic Development (DED) is planning to set up consumer protection counters in car showrooms by the beginning of 2017.

  
Dubai's deputy ruler Sheikh Maktoum bin Mohammed bin Rashid al-Maktoum tests a Lexus at the Dubai International Motor Show November 10, 2011.REUTERS/Martin Dokoupil

Dubai's deputy ruler Sheikh Maktoum bin Mohammed bin Rashid al-Maktoum tests a Lexus at the Dubai International Motor Show November 10, 2011.REUTERS/Martin Dokoupil

REUTERS/Martin Dokoupil

Monday, Aug 08, 2016

Dubai: The Department of Economic Development (DED) is planning to set up consumer protection counters in car showrooms by the beginning of 2017, officials said on Monday.

The DED officials held a meeting with seven major automobile dealers here to discuss plans to kick-start the initiative early next year.

“The automobile sector accounted for 2,430 consumer complaints we received in the first half of 2016,” said Mohammad Ali Rashid Lootah, CEO of CCCP.

The Consumer Protection Counter initiative will enable consumers and traders to resolve complaints amicably and quickly before escalating it to the DED. Consumers not satisfied with the response from the consumer protection counter can raise their complaints with the DED on the Ahlan Dubai number 600 54 5555.

Lootah explained that the automobile sector stood third in terms of consumer complaints, with a 15 per cent share, and up to 73 per cent of them were either related to non-compliance with the terms of the agreement, refund, or defective products. He 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 global business hub.

“A Consumer Protection Counter will help speed up complaint resolution, and thus lead to fewer complaints at the DED call centre,” added Lootah.

Officials from the Commercial Compliance and 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 plans to establish the counters.

Although most automobile dealerships already have facilities for receiving customer complaints, they do not comply with the standards now set by DED, pointed out Ahmad Al Awadi, Head of the Commercial Protection Section at DED.

As per the standards collaboratively developed by DED, the Consumer Protection Counter will serve as the first point of contact for aggrieved consumers, he said.

“The counter should be located in a prominently visible area within the showroom and should have bilingual [Arabic/English] staff to receive complaints. 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 begun to receive requests from retail outlets to train their staff on the standards and procedures to be followed at the Consumer Protection Counter.

Staff Report

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