The Ministry of Economy and Commerce (MEC) has intensified inspection campaigns targeting malls amid the launch of the second edition of the Shop Qatar festival, it was announced on Sunday.
The inspection campaigns resulted in 21 fines for violations including absence of Arabic advertisements and discount statements, non-licensed promotions, failure to display prices before and after discounts, missing service price tags, failure to display the percentage of discounts, absence of Arabic labels, and failure to display the licence in a prominent place, which represent violations of article (8) of law No.8 of 2008 and Ministerial Decision No. 5 of 1984 on discounted sales. Each fine ranged between QR 5,000 and QR 6,000.
The inspection campaigns are part of an integrated plan that covers all malls 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 inspection campaigns come within the framework of the MEC’s efforts to monitor markets and commercial activities as well as to crack down on price manipulation, uncover violations and monitor discounts and promotions, especially during the Qatar Shopping Festival in a bid to protect consumer rights,
The MEC stressed that retail outlet managers and similar stores 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 represents clear proof to consumers that the shop concerned has obtained the required licence from the MEC and that promotions and discounts are being offered in line with applicable laws and legal regulations.
The MEC warned that retail shops which have obtained a licence should offer real promotions and refrain from fake and misleading discounts and practices that harm consumers.
The MEC stressed that it will not tolerate any violations of the Consumer Protection Law and its regulations and will intensify its inspection campaigns to crack down on violations.
The MEC said it will refer those who violate laws and ministerial decrees to competent authorities, who will in turn take appropriate action against 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. Consumers should also ask for a detailed invoice with the actual and discounted price.
The MEC has also urged all customers to report any violations to its Consumer Protection and Anti-Commercial Fraud Department through the following channels: Call centre: 16001, e-mail: [email protected]
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