Don’t get carried away with offers during Ramadan

Don’t get carried away with offers during Ramadan

Offers are usually concentrated on food products, and may prompt consumers to make impulsive choices in spending.

By Salah Al Deberky/staff Reporter

Published: Thu 25 Jun 2015, 12:27 AM

Last updated: Wed 8 Jul 2015, 2:47 PM

Most of the trade establishments in Dubai are keen on launching promotional offers in the holy month of Ramadan to meet the needs of consumers. Offers are usually concentrated on food products, and may prompt consumers to make impulsive choices in spending.

Man books car and days later, finds it on sale

A consumer paid Dh158,000 as down payment for a brand new car. However, 10 days later, he was “startled” to see an advertisement in a newspaper about a promotional offer on the car, offering it at a discounted price.

The consumer lodged a complaint in this regard at the Consumer Complaints Section of the Department of Economic Development - Dubai (DED). “The man sought our help as he felt he was entitled to take advantage of the offer,” said Ayman Al Falasi, Senior Director of the Consumer Complaints Section.

On reviewing the complaint, the section found that the auto dealer had applied for a permit to run the promotion shortly before the complainant booked the car.

The section contacted the agency’s manager, who was informed about the complaint and its details. The complainant and the dealer were summoned to the DED to reach a settlement. During the meeting, the dealer agreed to include the complainant’s car in the offer and refund him the difference.

“We verified that the complainant received the difference and the complaint was thus closed,” said Al Falasi. He called on all traders and merchants to render the best services to consumers, “since customer satisfaction is evidence of the success of products or services provided”.

(Compiled by Salah Al Deberky)

With reference to this particular point, I call on consumers to rationalise consumption and chart down their requirements accurately and carefully. The Promotional Events Control Section conducts periodic visits to trade establishments to ensure that they are abiding by the laws and regulations enforced by the Department of Economic Development - Dubai (DED).

The duty of the section is to verify permits for conducting promotional offers, and ensure their credibility. The section also verifies that the offer specified in the permit is being promoted by the trade establishment concerned.

Dear consumer, please ensure that the advertised prices of products match the prices you pay while buying. We have provisions to book establishments for failing to adhere to advertised prices. If there is an error or disparity in prices advertised and actual prices charged, you may contact us and lodge a complaint in this regard.

(As told by Khalid Al Boom, Senior Director of Promotional Events Control Section)

Shop booked for selling Internet phone calls

A shop has been booked for selling cheap phone calls to the public through the Internet, in contravention of the telecommunications laws of the UAE. Ahmed Al Awadi, senior director of the Field Control Section at the Department of Economic Development - Dubai (DED), said the shop was booked for the offence when an inspector of the field control section visited the shop and was surprised to find scores of people queuing outside it carrying similar phones.

This raised the suspicion of the inspector, who on investigating the case further, found that the shopkeeper was offering cheap phone calls to people through the Internet. 

The inspector fined the establishment and confiscated the phones which work on the IP system.

Al Awadi said: “Such violations are often spotted at Internet cafes or typing offices. Shopkeepers provide the illegal call service to the public through online programmes for money which is calculated on the basis of the number of minutes the caller spends talking on the phone.

“These acts are illegal, which the trader practises without a permit or approval from the competent authorities,” he said. “We are always making efforts to maintain consumers’ rights and shield the public from being defrauded.”  He advised all traders to abide by the country’s laws by practising the trade activities which are permitted by their trade licence, and called on consumers to report any illegal activities.

Raise your queries

Khaleej Times runs the ‘Consumer Forum’ series in collaboration with the Department of Economic Development in Dubai. Readers can email their complaints and suggestions to with the subject line ‘Consumer Forum’ or raise them directly with the DED on phone number  .... 600 545 555



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