Faulty Gadgets? Electronics to be protected by sale contract

Arabisation boost in hospitality sector

ABU DHABI 30 August 2017: Cheated on an Internet buy or can’t do much on a recently bought ‘faulty’ electronic item? The UAE is making efforts to help you by creating a ‘standard’ sale contract on electronics purchases.

It is also forging ahead on adoption of Arabic in hotels and is continuing to address over-charging on credit card purchases.

The third meeting of the Higher Committee for Consumer Protection (HCCP), under the chairmanship of Sultan bin Saeed Al Mansoori, Minister of Economy, witnessed discussions on various strategies for developing and promoting consumer protection in the UAE’s markets, said Wam.

The HCCP followed up on developments in the implementation of the recommendations forwarded during its previous meetings. Among the important topics discussed were the reports of economic departments on use of Arabic in restaurants and private clinics; the application of controls for the Arabisation of invoices and reception functions; the prevention of additional charges on credit card payments; and the adoption of the final version of the standardised contracts for electronic items and electrical appliances.

The growing number of Internet users, the expansion of e-markets, and the rising popularity of e-shopping requires the adoption of policies and controls that ensure better regulation of transactions, the safety of goods, and compliance with the specifications in force within the UAE while ensuring the protection of consumer rights, said Al Mansoori.

Al Mansoori further emphasised the need for all the competent authorities to inform the commercial and service sectors of the importance of using the Arabic language in their billing system, reception areas, call centres, and restaurant services.

He directed restaurants catering to three- to five-star hotels and commercial centres to provide Arabic speakers with the goal of ensuring 100 per cent placement of at least one Arabic speaker by the beginning of 2018.

The meeting also reviewed the final version of the unified contracts for electrical and electronic products covering sales, warranty and maintenance.

In addition, the Committee discussed updates on the extent of compliance with the mandate of not imposing additional charges on goods and services paid for via credit cards in outlets.

“The Higher Committee for Consumer Protection is prioritising the development of tools for enhancing consumer protection and ensuring the best commercial practices in the markets. Enhancing consumer confidence has a direct impact on the stability and development of business in the country,” Al Mansoori said.

During the meeting, the Telecommunications Regulatory Authority showcased a number of initiatives being implemented in this regard. The Ministry of Economy’s Department of Consumer Protection reviewed a field study on the applicability of the Arabic language in the commercial and service sectors covering 473 firms and institutions from the different emirates. The results showed that the use of the language in reception desks, call centres and customer services was at 87 per cent. The Arabisation of invoices was 84.3 per cent in these areas and 76.1 per cent in the sample restaurants.

The meeting was held in Dubai in the presence of Mohammed Ahmed bin Abdul Aziz Al Shehhi, the Ministry’s Under-Secretary for Economic Affairs; Humaid Bin Butti Al Muhairi, Assistant Under-Secretary for the Commercial Affairs and Consumer Protection Sector, and Dr. Hashim Al Nuaimi, Director of the Consumer Protection Department. Other federal and local officials of the various emirates that are part of the Committee attended as well.

By Sheena Amos