Muscat: Various promotional offers to attract the customers reach a high during the Holy Month of Ramadan and it peaks near the end of the month with Eid Al Fitr festivities.
While there are shop owners and retailers that offer genuine discounts and promotion, the Consumer Protection Authority (CPA) has warned consumers not to fall into trap of false promotional offers and ensure that the quality of the goods are maintained.
There have been some reports of malpractices and price hike of goods during Ramadan and a senior CPA official has called upon consumers to be alert and aware and inform the authorities if they find shop owners indulging in any malpractices.
In conversation with Shabiba radio, Khalid bin Ali Al Rashdi, a media expert at the Consumer Protection Authority, said: “The Consumer Protection Authority welcomes any complaints from consumers if they come across illegal market practices during the Holy Month of Ramadan, such as hike in prices and poor quality of products. The validity of products also need to be checked before they get tempted by the offers.
He added: “Consumers should avoid random shopping and make sure the date of production of products is not very old. At times, products that have been produced long back are put on sale during this holy month as promotional offers.”
Al Rashdi suggested that “consumers should be wary of offers and ensure that they genuinely benefit from those promotions.”
The official at the CPA advised the necessity of balancing expenses during the month of Ramadan and for Eid al-Fitr. “The best way is for the consumer to make a list of his requirements, compare prices and check the quality of products, before purchasing the desired product. He should also visit markets and malls that are known to him and to avoid buying any products of unknown origin,” said Al Rashdi.
Al Rashdi said that the authority is represented by its various directorates and departments in all the governorates of the Sultanate.
“We continue to monitor the markets in order to maintain the stability of the markets and provide commodities to consumers in sufficient quantities due to the increase in demand before and during the Holy Month of Ramadan,” he said.
As part of the efforts of CPA team, Salim bin Ali Al Hakmani, chairman of the Consumer Protection Authority, Ahmed Nasser Al Bakri, Undersecretary of the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Water Resources, and a number of officials of the concerned government agencies visited the Central Market for Fruits and Vegetables in Al Mawaleh to check the availability of commodities and ensure that suppliers comply with laws and legislation related to consumer protection, prior to the beginning of the Holy Month of Ramadan.
Monitoring the markets
CPA has been involved in monitoring the markets to provide a safe and secure environment for consumers.
The Authority has also implemented an action plan to intensify monitoring of the markets in accordance with the mechanisms of implementation and enforcement of relevant laws and regulations by protecting the rights of consumers through a series of inspection visits to centres and shops to ensure the stability of markets, the availability of goods, and to avoid prices hike during Ramadan.
CPA has set up field visit teams that include judicial control officers and inspectors of commercial stores to monitor any commercial activities violations.