Consumers warned against Eid promotions

A shopping mall decorated with banners during Ramadan offer.

A shopping mall decorated with banners during Ramadan offer.

Director of the Ministry of Commerce and Industry’s office in Jeddah Attiyah Al-Zahrani warned consumers in Jeddah of fake advertisements ahead of Eid. “The Eid celebration could be an opportunity for fraudsters to make a quick buck,” cautioned ministry officials.

Al-Zahrani told Arab News that shops use the occasion of Eid to spread false promotional campaigns to market their goods.

He said that the ministry is planning to make inspection tours in coordination with the Consumer Protection Association in Jeddah in the next few days to detect and stop such activities, which economists noted fall under commercial fraud.

He explained that such acts undermine the merchants’ credibility. Consumers complained to Arab News about the misleading promotional phrases advertised by many companies in order to increase sales of products which do not meet specifications.

They called on authorities to tighten control and not allow labels to be put on products unless they match specifications.

Mohammed Al-Maliki said that the promotional chaos, particularly during the Eid season makes consumers lose confidence and question the goods’ credibility. He noted that developed countries don’t allow fake phrases to spread randomly, thereby maintaining trust between consumers and companies.”

Professor of economics at King Abdul Aziz University, Tariq Koshak, said companies have the right to advertise their projects in any way they want. “However, consumers have the right to sue the company in the event of inaccuracy and the companies’ failure to meet marketing specifications,” he said. He cites a law in Britain that prevents labeling before passing a test to ensure the accuracy of the marketing phrases.

Koshak discussed the need to differentiate between natural materials and processed and cosmetic materials so consumers can decide for themselves.

He added that companies must provide all necessary information, especially when it comes to imported products. He said that many companies try to exploit Saudi consumers, calling for the establishment of commercial courts to safeguard consumer rights, whereby consumers can sue companies and get their rights.

Economist and writer Salem Bajajh demanded the Specifications And Standards Authority to intensify the efforts in this regard, in cooperation with the relevant authorities, particularly the Ministry of Trade and Consumer Protection Association. He added that there is need to punish companies which use false phrases to market their products and goods.


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