(MENAFN - Gulf Times) The Ministry of Economy and Commerce (MEC) has conducted an inspection campaign on commercial outlets at various shopping malls and fined 14 outlets.
The violations ranged from charging customers higher prices than advertised, failure to use Arabic in ads and product descriptions as well as breaching discount terms and conditions.
Violators of consumer protection law No 8 of 2008 are subject to administrative closure and a minimum fine of QR3,000 and up to QR1mn.
The Ministry revoked the discount permits of three shopping outlets and fined them each QR5,000 for failing to separate discounted and non-discounted items, failure to display price tags and offering discounts on less than 80% of the shopping outlet's products, which is in violation of the provisions of ministerial decree No 5 of 1984 on sales via discounts.
The MEC has urged all consumers to verify the prices of items before and during discount periods. Customers are entitled access to the store's goods statement which reveals the prices of goods prior to and following discounts as well as the approved discount percentage. Consumers are also advised to request detailed invoices indicating original and reduced prices.
The Ministry stressed that all shops are obliged to offer real discounts and should refrain from misleading practices that are in violation of consumer rights.
The MEC added that it will intensify its inspection campaigns to crack down on all violations of the consumer protection law and will refer violators of laws and ministerial decrees to the competent authorities, whom in turn will take appropriate legal action against perpetrators in order to protect the rights of consumers.
The Ministry has urged all consumers to report any violations, complaints or suggestions via the following communication channels: Hotline: 16001, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org, Twitter: MEC_QATAR, Instagram: MEC_QATAR, and the smartphone applications available on iPhone and Android devices MEC_QATAR.