Shops and outlets in 10 major malls in Qatar have been penalized for running bogus sales promotions by the Ministry of Economy and Commerce (MEC).
January is a popular month for sales, and inspectors recently conducted spot checks at stores in City Center Mall, Landmark Mall, Villaggio Mall, Ezdan Mall, The Mall, Hyatt Plaza, Royal Plaza, Lagoona Mall, Lulu and Dar Al Salam Mall, according to local media reports.
The MEC booked stores for a total of 37 violations of varying types, in accordance with Ministerial Decision No. 5 of 1984 with respect to selling through sales, promotions and discounts.
حملات تفتيشية مكثفة تسفر عن ضبط 37 مخالفة خلال موسم العروض الترويجية والتنزيلات pic.twitter.com/Az5Hfi2tVh
— وزارة التجارة والصناعة (@MOCIQatar) January 6, 2015
(Translated into English: “Intensive inspection campaigns resulted in 37 violations during promotion season.”)
This covers promotions such as discount sales, scratch-and-win offers and lucky draws. Shops in Qatar planning to hold sales are required to apply in advance to the MEC.
Some stores use a sale strategy to entice customers into patronizing their outlets.
The Quantitative Licenses and Market Control Section of the MEC’s Consumer Protection department has the power to issue licenses to shops for promotions and discounts, and monitors those sales to ensure prices are actually reduced.
The offending stores – which were not named – were found to be running offers without obtaining a license from the ministry; displaying differences between the actual price and the price tags; and failing to display prices clearly, the Peninsula reports.
Penalties for the offenders included a fine of up to QR5,000 and the withdrawal of their promotions license by the MEC for the remainder of the sale period.
The MEC has been stepping up inspections of sale promotions in the past few months.
In December, during checks on 143 stores throughout the country, 12 were found to have committed a number of offenses, including not declaring the prices before and after the sale period, and not maintaining the authorized sale prices for the duration of the promotion.
The booked stores included fashion, home furnishings and accessories outlets as well as beauty salons, Qatar Tribune said.
And in September 2013, UK-based department store M&S, which has stores in Villaggio and Landmark malls, had its promotion license temporarily withdrawn by the MEC.
It was found to have offered a false promotion, by marking sales prices at a higher rate than they were given permission under their licence.
According to Qatar’s consumer protection laws, customers are entitled to ask stores to show their prices before and during their promotion period, as well as the discount rate approved by the MEC.
Customers should also be given an itemized receipt, showing the original price and then the discounted one.
Residents who believe that a store is not following the regulations can report them to the MEC via their toll-free phone number (800 5000), by emailing [email protected] or by messaging them on their @MEC_Qatar Twitter account.
I wish they would’ve named and shamed these shops.
I was just telling some of my friends that the sale prices in one shop seems to be higher than their regular prices.
I love that the MEC and MMUP have Twitter accounts to shame offenders, scare would-be violators, and inform the public. Would like to know which stores are involved so that I can make sure not to give them my business.
They shamed no one as they didn’t name the stores. For some strange reason. “these stores were ripping off customers but you have to figure out who they were yourself”.
MEC needs to run the traffic department. #JustSaying
But then how would they get free money from bogus traffic violations?
Wrong forum ?
Scratched cars, rotten food, fake promotions…what’s next? Perhaps some visits to the garages around Qatar might prove beneficial. Great work!
These shops should stop giving us sms,if they are not truthful. So what are we to look for before we go in for sales
There’s this shop that jack-up the non-discounted price to make it appear that there really was a discount. The shops name sounds like a fruit.
I think the shops should be named! It will scare all other shops from doing this if they know they will be named!!!
The law should be ammended to allow MEC to close the shops as well as name and shame them…
They do name and shame some and avoid others, such as the car dealerships. I don’t see any logic behind these double standards to be honest.
the usual scheme was to distribute flyers.. then when one visits the shop, the sales person will say that it’s out of stock.
“Shops in Qatar planning to hold sales are required to apply in advance to the MEC.” – RIP offers.
Yeah RIP for sales and offers
A receipt with the before and after price!!! Nope, that has never ever happened to me at any store. Good work keep it up. I’ve long suspected the brand name business shirts that I buy here are a differing quality to the same brand bought back in Australia. I’m presuming they are both made in China or somewhere in Asia but the ones I buy here just don’t last, seem thinner, anyone else found the same? On a side note I overheard a business meeting in a popular cafe, a guy wanting to open a Givenchy Outlet Store “no they just make product especially for the outlet, cheap product, especially kids clothing, you’ll never find it in a real Givenchy, but the Gulf laps that stuff up. We want to create a whole mall of European brand outlet stores. They get it made it made in Asia, margins huge. It’s like real but faux”. The local businessmen were very enthusiastic about opening outlet stores. So buyer beware!
I’ve seen in many of the stores here (and at home in Australia) that when a sale is coming up they bring in a whole heap of cheap items and then flog that off in the sales.
The outlet store quality happens in UK also. It’s not a ME thing. Don’t know why big names do that as all they are doing is selling shoddy work in their name. Bicester Village in UK runs a similar process. Stuff you buy there in the designer shops you will never find in their owns stores. They claim they sell trial products to test the waters. Ha
I agree with you regarding the quality of things here. Not just clothes but electrical things like vacuum cleaners. Even the big brand VCs have cheap and shoddy casings and they don’t last long at all.
One other complaint I have regarding especially the britsh chain stores here is the rates of exchange they use. Would love to know how they come up with those figures. Something that sells for QR 40 here, when you flip over the label it clearly says £5.
When I have queried this I get excuses like ‘It was bought when the exchange rates were higher’ ( Eight years here and I have never seen £ to QR / $ that high).
In which case we should see a massive drop soon in the Britisg chain stores here as the rate of exchange has been dropping since end of summer.
Or ‘ It’s the shipping costs’. But they have to ship to the UK also I say. These items are not made in the UK.
Yes the exchange thing I noticed too! I bought something on sale in Mango, 100r off, good deal I thought. Peeled off the sticker and the sale price was equal to the euro price. Whaaaaat ???
Name and shame, seriously?! It looks rather unnamed and much more famed on the other hand.
How about some of the party supply guys buying items at wholesale prices from a well known shop here nd re packing nd re selling them for much much more than double !! There are a few key shops only in doha nd easy to identify nd deal with . It’s almost criminal !!
It happened to me in Lasenza at hayat plaza mall! I will report them. Great job MEC!
A footwear shop in Villagio near Hagendaas offered big discounts recently. Only while billing the guy says sticker price is the discounted one. No original price mentioned! Seems Mall shopowners r not afraid of MEC..so blatant violations!
i guess thats geox!
It wouldn’t be the same footwear place that caused the villago Fire coz of p!ss poor quality light fixtures ?
I used to point out how some sales had been going on since I first arrived in the region in 2009. When that happens, it’s no longer a sale; that’s just the price.
It’s commons sense. Why a company afford 50% discount or one by get one free offers !? Always beware of huge discounts or benefits.
The first paragrah sounds incroeect it reads “…. running bogus sales promotions by the Ministry of Economy and Commerce (MEC)” deserves a rephrase
It’s insane that a shop needs to get the government’s permission to have a promotion.