Sign in Register
19 July 2015 01:53 am

Know your rights! Consumer Protection in Qatar and How to Complain

Khalifa Al haroon
Khalifa Al haroon
Discuss here!
Start a discussion
qatarvisions-1-web

 

We've had quite a few tweets and questions asking what's the best way to complain to the authorities when they aren't getting their rights. You've probably seen stickers in shop windows with a super hero looking Qatari and the message "Know your rights". Yep, that's been put up there by the Consumer Rights Department in Qatar. Oh and here's a helpful tip, the Consumer Protection Law provides protection covering all products and services whether charged for or given to the consumer free of charge.

Need to log a complaint? You've got a couple of options. Hope this helps!

1) Call the Consumer Protection Department and log a complaint.

Toll-free: 16001 (Used to be 800500)

Hot line (outside of Qatar): +974 44945555 or +974 44945001

2) SMS your complaint. to 92665 - According to Hukoomi all you need to do is Please send your complaint or suggestion + the word 'consumer'.

3) If you're an online person, you can also fill out the digital complaint form online. Click here

4) Whenever you do complain, it's important that you have as much evidence as possible.

- Name of the party against which you wish to submit your complaint, his address, work nature, violation type and place of complain 

- A detailed statement of damage caused to you, if it is applicable

- A copy of the invoice must be presented when submitting the complaint. Without the original invoice or a copy thereof, Consumer Protection Department will not be able to consider the complaint.

Yep the CPD treats complaints very seriously. You'll even receive a text message verifying your complaint reference so you can follow up later on.

5) If you're the face to face type of person, you can always go to the CPD office located in West Bay on Omar Al Mukhtar Street.

 

Know your rights

The law sets out a basic bill of rights for consumers, some of which are:

  • The right to health and safety in the ordinary use of products and services.
  • The right to obtain correct information on products and services.
  • The right to obtain all relevant product or service information in Arabic as well as other languages.
  • The right to return, replace or repair the product free of charge, if a defect is found out or it doesn’t meet standard specifications or its purpose.
  • The right to find all relevant product information including its type, nature, components etc.
  • The right to find the price of the product clearly displayed.
  • The right to obtain a dated invoice for the product purchased.
  • The right to obtain all warranties relevant to the product offered by the producer or agent.
  • The right to obtain another free product if the period of executing warranty terms exceeded 15 days until the warranties terms are fully honored.
  • The right to take legal recourse on any breach or restriction of their consumer rights.

As a consumer you are entitled to claim compensation for any damage to property caused as a result of buying or using a product or service.

Accordingly, the supplier is obligated to refund the value of the product or replace or repair it without charge if:

  • A defect is discovered in the product, or
  • The product does not meet standard specifications for its purpose.

Misleading and false advertisements

The Consumer Protection Law prohibits the selling, displaying, offering, promotion and advertisement of any spoilt or out-of-sell-by-date products i.e. they have exceeded their validity date or do not conform to prescribed specifications.

Suppliers are also prohibited from describing, advertising or displaying products using false or misleading information.

Labelling

Suppliers are obligated to display the following information clearly and legibly on all labels:

  • The price of the product or service (or display the price prominently at the point of purchase).
  • The type, nature and ingredients of the product.

The law also provides protection for consumers who pay for goods or services by instalment. In these cases, the supplier must provide the following information:

  • The total cost of the product or service.
  • The total cost of the product or service when purchased by instalment.
  • The amount to be paid in advance (if applicable).
  • The instalment period.
  • The number of instalments for each period and the amount owed on each instalment.

Penalties – suppliers beware!

Suppliers who breach any of the provisions of the law may face "detention for a term not exceeding two years and fine".

The fine has recently been increased in an amendment Law (14) of 2014 from one of between 5,000 and 10,000 Riyals to one of between 3,000 and 1 million Riyals. This penalty doubles if the supplier repeats the offence within five years of the original infringement. Furthermore, if the supplier fails to advise of a dangerous commodity the fine has been amended to one of between 15,000 and 100,000 Riyals to one of between 15,000 and 1 million Riyals. However, suppliers who unintentionally advertise incorrect information are excluded from this penalty if it is determined that the information provided was too technical to verify.

Law No (14) of (2011) further adds that violating shops can be closed by up to three months where repeat violations occur.

Consumer Rights Action

The Law permits citizens to set up consumer rights societies and groups that help provide consumers with information, defend consumers’ interests, convey concerns and complaints to relevant authorities, and research and publish studies related to consumer protection.

 

Visit the official site at www.mec.gov.qa