DUBAI- The cars sector in Dubai won the top rating in consumer feedback tracked over the first six months of 2014 as part of the Consumer Friendliness Index of the Department of Economic Development (DED). While cars sector scored 78 points in an aggregate of 100, hypermarkets came a close second at 75 followed by the gold sector, which was newly added in 2014, at 69 and the apparel sector had the lowest score of 55.
A first-of-its-kind initiative in the region led by DED, the consumer friendliness rating chiefly looked into the most popular business outlets in seven sectors accounting for the highest share of the Dubai retail market – apparel, electronics, hypermarkets, furniture, cars, coffee shops and gold.
The rating, currently in its third year, is based on consumer opinions of individual outlets tracked over a certain period and consumer complaints received by DED as well as the extent of parity/fair pricing for a pre-determined basket of products/services.
Opinions from 1,200 consumers were evaluated over the first half of 2014 as part of the rating.
Disparities in prices for garments sold across malls in Dubai and less value for money were cited as the main reasons for the low rating received by the apparel sector.
“The Consumer Friendliness Index is fast evolving since we launched it with 24 outlets from three sectors in 2012. In 2013 we had 46 outlets from six sectors and this year we have received a tremendous response from the gold sector, which is newly added,” said Omar Bushahab, CEO of the Commercial Compliance and Consumer Protection (CCCP) sector in DED.
“The rating process also reveals valuable information on consumer behaviour. For example in the cars sector, which tops in this year’s rating so far, consumers who had complaints about their respective agency was just four per cent, which indicate the high service standards and growing consumer awareness in this sector,” Bushahab remarked.
Retailers are also recognising the importance of strengthening their interface with consumers and the business benefits of being consumer-friendly, added Bushahab.
The rating process is chiefly aimed o to understand the level of compliance to the Consumer Code of Rights stated in the Federal Law No 24 of 2006 and reinforce the message that consumer rights protection is a shared responsibility between retailers and consumers.
Consumers are asked to evaluate the outlet based on service quality, billing transparency, and sharing of warranty information by salesperson in addition to overall satisfaction. The price parity is compared in regular intervals – monthly, bi-monthly, quarterly or half-yearly – depending on the nature of business.