Dubai consumer complaints rocket by 23% in 2016

More than 27,000 complaints received as awareness campaigns led to better understanding of consumer rights
Dubai consumer complaints rocket by 23% in 2016
(Getty Images - for illustrative purposes only)
By Staff writer
Fri 24 Feb 2017 11:03 AM

Dubai's Department of Economic Development (DED) received 27,027 consumer complaints in 2016, an increase of 23 percent compared to the previous year.

On average, the DED received 2,252 complaints monthly as continued awareness campaigns led to better understanding of consumer rights and responsibilities across the emirate, state news agency WAM reported.

The complaints received in 2016 involved non-compliance with warranty terms (39 percent of complaints), refunds (17 percent), damaged goods (13 percent), and lack of safety systems (5 percent).

However, the DED said complaints relating to exchanges dropped 20 percent and those relating to commercial fraud by 40 percent in 2016, indicating an eagerness among traders to offer better customer service.

Sector-wise, services accounted for 43 percent of the complaints followed by electronics (24 percent), automobiles (15 percent), textiles (7 percent) and furniture (3 percent), WAM said.

The DED's Commercial Compliance and Consumer Protection (CCCP) section seeks to build awareness among consumers on the mechanisms available to raise complaints and have their rights protected.

Mohammed Ali Rashed Lootah, CEO of CEEP, said that the number of consumer complaints received reflects the success of the campaigns conducted by DED during 2016.

"Consumers have become more conscious and determined about their rights and the quality of service they deserve. Most of the complaints we received related to non-compliance with warranty terms, refunds and defective products. The CEEP sector did the necessary follow up and took steps to resolve those complaints amicably in not later than four working days, to the satisfaction of the consumer as well as the merchant," Lootah said.

DED added that it will be launching a series of awareness campaigns this year with the emphasis on discounts and measures to be taken by consumers during purchasing so as to avoid being duped.

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