The number of consumer complaints across Dubai increased  by 38 per cent in the first half of 2013, the Department of Economic Development (DED) in Dubai said on Sunday.
In comparison with the same period last year, the number of consumer complaints rose form 3,936 complaint to 5,438.
Omar Bu Shahab, Executive Director of Commercial Compliance and Consumer Protection (CCCP) at the Dubai Department of Economic Development, told Gulf News that this increase indicates the effectiveness of the campaign and shows that consumers know their rights better .
“These figures indicate an improved awareness of consumer rights and consumer protection systems among the public and retailers,” he added.
The half-year report said that the services sector in Dubai, one of the fastest growing business segments in the market, accounted for more than half of the increase in the number of consumer complaint s along with the electronics, which increased by 26.6 per cent.
These are followed by the automobiles sector which reported at 12.8 per cent of the total number of complaints, while textiles & cosmetics at 10.8 per cent also were the leading sectors in terms of customer feedback and complaints.
However, the furniture sector saw the lowest increase in complaints at 3.5 per cent.
The highest share of complaints, 1,837, were disagreements between the retailer and consumer on the terms and conditions of sale, while there were 1,161 complaints of damage and 375 regarding fraudulent practices.
Other complaints were mostly regarding fees and exchange and charging more than the advertised price attracted the lowest number of complaints.
Mohammad Al Madani, a UAE-based businessman, said the DED’s continuous awareness campaigns have rationalised rights and responsibilities not only for consumers but for retailers as well.
“If consumers get more aware about their rights and duties, our business will be easier and more credible in the market.”
“This awareness channel between consumers and retailers by DED is seeking to upgrade our business as well as build a mutual and confident relation with consumers,” Al Madani added.
DED has distributed brochures to educate people about the consumer protection law at every shopping centre  and area in Dubai.
Bu Shahab added: “We asked every retailer in Dubai to have over their counter the free number of the Commerce and Consumer Protection Department, 600545555, to help consumers communicate directly with the department if they need help or have an inquiry.”
Abdul Aziz Bin Hathboor, Director of Consumer Protection at CCCP in DED, said: “Consumer awareness in Dubai is definitely on the rise and the workshops and campaigns being regularly conducted by the Department of Economic Development have contributed substantially to encouraging consumers to raise issues and seek solutions.”