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Gone are the days when a customer who was unhappy with the product he or she bought had to go back to the store and beg for a replacement. Refunds were barely allowed. Today, customers can claim a replacement or refund as a matter of right, thanks to the Consumer Code of Rights enacted under the UAE Consumer Protection Law of 2006.
The law clearly states that sold goods must meet the level of quality and performance that would be reasonable to expect, corresponding to the price. Further, goods must be suitable for the purpose as conveyed to the buyer, and match the description given by the seller. The buyer of a product that fails in any of these conditions has the explicit right to return it to the seller and claim a refund.
These provisions do not just remain on paper, but are implemented in letter and spirit. The only limiting factor is that the aggrieved buyer should have the inclination to enforce the right; and it is now mandatory to have the return policy clearly printed on sales receipts.
The federal government and the authorities entrusted with the task at the level of each individual emirate launch campaigns to create awareness about consumer rights from time to time. Dubai's ''Know Your Consumer Rights'' campaign, for instance, has been a big success. All leading stores now display ''Be Right'' signboards, indicating their participation in the campaign.
The rules now apply to online purchases as well and any unsatisfied customer can approach the Consumer Protection Department for redress. Under the rules, no online store can sell their products in the UAE without being registered with the department.
• Replacement/refund of goods mandated by law.
• Printing of the return policy on receipts is a must.
• Refund policy now applicable to online purchases.
Source: Special to Classifieds