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DED for inculcating saving culture in children Salah Al Deberky / 26 February 2014 Official says the culture of saving should be made the bullet points of the social responsibility for companies and corporates. Cultivating the culture of saving in the society is a joint responsibility shared by families, individuals and government institutions, says Ayman Bilal Al Falasi, Senior Director of the Consumer Complaints Section at the Department of Economic Development (DED) in Dubai. “I appreciate, in this context, the government’s efforts in shoring up awareness on saving in the society by taking many direct and indirect measures, including streamlining the process of granting loans to individuals by fixing a cap at 50 per cent of the individual’s total income and saving packages at banks. However, the government’s efforts in this regard must be complemented by the family’s role in charting out a proper plan for the future of their children, especially securing the education expenses and instilling awareness on saving among children at an early age. “Besides, the culture of saving should be made the bullet points of the social responsibility for companies and corporates. “Since we are a sector that is responsible for protecting the consumer, we recommend guidance and awareness programmes for redrafting the behavioural patterns of individuals in this regard, particularly to bring about a paradigm shift from the culture of lavish spending and extravagance to saving for the future by launching campaigns to educate the society through media, seminars and workshops. Complaints & Responses Grilling blues: A person lodged a complaint against an electronics store claiming that he bought a grill and after sometime discovered that its capacity was not as powerful as he thought. He went to the shop in a bid to get it replaced with one with suitable power. The shop, however, refused. The shop was contacted and after investigation, it was found that the complainant had used the grill. The complaints coordinator personally went to the shop and asked the complainant to go there with the grill. The grill was found to be in a terrible condition. The shop was cooperative and replaced the grill by deducting an amount from its value. The complaint was thus closed. Disproportionate ingredients: A consumer lodged a complaint against a restaurant saying that the number of chicken pieces in a chicken pie that the restaurant served was disproportionate to the other ingredients. He said he wanted the restaurant to be told to increase the number of chicken pieces in the dish. The section contacted the complainant and told him that it was impossible to interfere in the quantity of ingredients a restaurant used in its dishes. A consumer may buy any product or service that suits his taste and if he is dissatisfied with the taste of a particular dish, he may choose to go to another restaurant. Accordingly, the case was closed. Irreplaceable shoes: A woman lodged a complaint against a footwear store claiming that she bought a pair of shoes, and when she reached home, was shocked to see that the pair was a different colour. She went back to the shop to get the shoes exchanged, but the shop refused. The section contacted the shop and after investigation it was found that when the shop asked her to bring the shoes and the purchase bill, she said she could not do so as she had sent them outside the country. Since she could not produce the bill or the pair of shoes she claimed to have bought from the shop, the case was closed. (Compiled by Salah Al Deberky) “I appreciate the fact that the campaigns launched have started yielding fruits. Most banks and financial institutions encourage the public to open savings accounts and take savings certificates for children these days. The move has received a big thumbs-up from families, which eagerly look forward to securing their children’s future for fear of fluctuations in the standard of living. “We also call on all civil society organisations, particularly the women’s societies, to do all they can to encourage families to inculcate a proper financial culture in the children and other members. “The saving culture is a joint responsibility that needs to be revisited time and again and cemented in the generations. “We also suggest the authorities concerned to study the feasibility of inculcating this behaviour as part of the school curricula to meet the objective of protecting the ‘financial health’ of the society, and also to launch education programmes in schools and universities as well as introduce saving products which attract individuals and families, as the rise in spending is one of the most important causes of reduced saving. “The more the saving capacity of an individual, the stronger will be the economy. “Saving is the main prelude for investment, and if saving drops, investments will diminish. The efforts should be in the direction of achieving development in its different forms. “This makes it imperative for us to reconsider our future saving trends by pursuing rationalised economic policies that bring back the balance in saving and consumption. Besides, we have to systematically conduct awareness programmes impacting the present and coming generations, by focusing on educational curriculums that develop the knowledge of the young on the significance of saving and its role in development.” (As told by Ayman Bilal Al Falasi, Senior Director of Consumer Complaints Section) ‘Protecting the interests of tourists will boost economy’ A total of 11,414 complaints were received by the call centre of the Consumer Protection Division of the Department of Economic Development – Dubai (DED) last year, with the average number of complaints coming to 950 per month. Complaints lodged by Arab tourists, non-Arabs and visitors from the GCC countries constituted 18 per cent of the total number of complaints registered by DED, said Abdul Aziz bin Habthoor, Director of the Consumer Protection Division. “DED’s Commercial Compliance and Consumer Protection Division works to protect the economic interests and businesses of visitors with the aim of creating an ideal relationship between the visitors and the traders, to set up a market free of trade fraud, misappropriation and swindling,” he said. The objective, according to him, is to set up a proper relationship unmarred by any defect or misgiving, hence giving visitors the right of choice, understanding before entering any contract. These, he said, are the essential principles followed by the Consumer Protection Division. “DED has pinpointed a set of objectives that the division pursues in order to protect the shopper or tourist from fraud and deception, as well as helping him / her get the commodities and services they need,” he said. Accordingly, the division has created seven official channels for receiving complaints and consultancies for communication. These are through Ahlan Dubai centre, email, Twitter, the portal website, smart app for Sallety and the direct complaints as well as the external centres of the division. The move shows the keenness of the division in protecting the consumer by creating in them a sense of awareness and in boosting the stability of the market. He said: “In order to tackle the daily issues (regarding shopping) of the large number of tourists and visitors, we follow our strategic plan of keeping in touch with them and promptly receiving and resolving their complaints.” Also, the protection of the economic interests of the tourists and visitors gives a good impression of the shopping events in Dubai, and the enormous success it has achieved in the shopping festivals and in terms of booming tourism, which is regarded as one of the much growing industries in the world, and has become of paramount importance in global trade. “Tourism, seen from economic perspective, is a productive sector that plays an important role in increasing the national income of Dubai and improving the balance of payments. It also serves as a source of bringing in hard cash, opportunity for recruiting, and objective for achieving the economic development programmes,” he said. “Tourism, he said, is also a dynamic movement related to cultural and civilised aspects of man. In other words, it is a civilised message and a bridge of contact between the cultures and humanitarian knowledge of people and nations.” Bin Habthoor also termed tourism as a natural outcome for the evolution and progress of the tourist communities and rise in the individual’s standard of living. The promotion of tourism directly affected the economy of Dubai, and helped revive the related activities, especially in the retail sector, which features one of the important economic sectors in the emirate, he said, adding that, therefore, general spending on consumer products shot up. Accordingly, he said, spending on services and products related to the tourism industry will result in shopping boom. “More tourist influx into the emirate will mean boost in general spending on consumer products. Therefore it is imperative to maintain that huge role of trust and confidence between us and the visitors and tourists, as all their business interests fall under the protection of the Commercial Compliance and Consumer Protection Division,” he said. – firstname.lastname@example.org Khaleej Times runs the ‘Consumer Forum’ series in collaboration with the Department of Economic Development in Dubai. Readers can email their complaints and suggestions to email@example.com with the subject line ‘Consumer Forum’ or raise them directly with the DED on phone number 600 545 555 For more news from Khaleej Times, follow us on Facebook at facebook.com/khaleejtimes , and on Twitter at @khaleejtimes Continue reading →
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