A surprise inspection campaign carried out by the Ministry of Economy and Commerce (MEC) at different malls in the country has resulted in the detection of 28 violations, it was announced.
The campaign was conducted in a bid to monitor the compliance of suppliers (retail outlets) with their obligations under Law No 8 of 2008 on Consumer Protection and Ministerial Decision No 5 of 1984 on discounted sales, the MEC said in a press statement.
Fines were imposed on the offenders for violations such as missing Arabic labels and invoices, non-compliance with the terms and conditions of the discount licence or promotional offer, and non-separation of goods, which represent a violation of Law No 8 of 2008 and Ministerial Decision No 5 of 1984 on discounted sales.
The fines ranged between QR5,000 and QR6,000. “The inspection campaign comes within the framework of the ministry’s efforts to monitor markets and commercial activities as well as to crack down on price manipulation and uncover violations in a bid to protect consumer rights,” the statement noted.
The MEC, meanwhile, stressed that retail outlet owners should take the initiative and adopt - without any further delay - the “Shop with Confidence” mark when it comes to announcing discounts and promotional offers.
The mark should be placed on invoices presented to customers, as it acts as a clear proof to consumers that the shop concerned has obtained the required licence from the ministry and that promotions and discounts are being offered in line with applicable laws and legal regulations.
The MEC also warned that retail shops that have obtained a licence should offer real promotions and refrain from fake and misleading discounts and practices that harm consumers.
Further, the ministry noted that it would not tolerate any violations of the Consumer Protection Law and its regulations and would intensify its inspection campaigns to crack down on violations. It will refer those who violate laws and ministerial decrees to the competent authorities, who, in turn, will take appropriate action against the perpetrators in order to protect consumer rights.
The MEC has urged consumers to compare the product price before and after the discount and promotional period. Consumers are also entitled to inspect the product label for the discount percentage as well as the actual and discounted price. Besides, consumers should also ask for a detailed invoice with the actual and discounted price.
Consumers can report violations or submit complaints and suggestions through the call centre: 16001; email: [email protected]; Twitter: MEC_QATAR; Instagram: MEC_QATAR; and the ministry’s application on iPhone and Android devices: MEC_QATAR
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