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April 01, 2015
Everyone enjoys a discount or promotion on the products we love or find essential. In this day and age, different websites now offer easily accessible products on special while store leaflets continue to be distributed throughout the UAE advertising such deals. We are living in a time and place where products are presented to us without requesting it, but do you experience already what others have?
This week in daily newspaper The National, I tackled issues on what a consumer can do in relation to product return policies, wrongly advertised prices and details, and expired products. These things are largely the responsibility of the supplier, but we should know our legal position and learn to deal with such circumstances.
Retailers or stores within the UAE are all subject to the country's consumer protection laws. Any return policy, exchange or credit offers should comply with the Federal Law No. 4 of 2006 that protects customers and outlines procedures in the event of an issue. If a product sold is faulty, stores should accept any returns and replace them, as stated in Article 5 of Law No. 24. Store owners have the responsibility of taking care and providing assurance of their before selling it to consumers, according to Article 13 of the same law. Suppliers or sellers breaching this law can be penalized with a fine not exceeding Dh10,000, with the consumers entitled to compensation for any material harm.
Suppliers or sellers should not display an illusory price or description to customers that would deceive them and trick them into buying a product. Consumers can take legal action in such cases against any perpetrators and this is taken seriously by the Consumer Protection Department. If the price on the receipt of the product you bought is different to the price advertised, the retailer or supplier must make a refund or give a justified explanation for such a variation. Any false advertisements of the product is prohibited. Product expiry dates should be always present on the label at all times. It is normal for a consumer to always look for the expiry date, to assure quality and avoid any potentially harmful consequences of using the product. Even on vouchers or promotional items, the expiry date should be set clearly.