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Friday, July 30, 2021

Municipal council: Name & shame rogue Qatar eateries, stores

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Qatar retailers who cheat consumers should be warned, fined and then publicly denounced if they don’t shape up, Central Municipal Council members have said.

The novel approach, widely supported on social media sites but vigorously avoided by local news media, would help curb offenses, the CMC said.

Gulf News reports:

Around 800 businesses were last year fined for failing to protect consumers.

“In fact, this figure is well below the real number of cases in which consumers are abused,” they said. Inflated prices and selling fake products are the major violations reported to the authorities, the councillors said…

Under the proposed name-and-shame approach, those who cheat consumers through higher prices, illegal charges and fake products will have their names published in local newspapers and on broadcast media.

Currently, many GCC countries make it illegal to name and shame businesses, even if they provide poor service or have been shut down for non-compliance.

In August, for example, a UAE resident was forced to shut down a Twitter account and website that named and shamed bad drivers after being warned that he was breaking libel law.

In Qatar, not naming and shaming is more of an unspoken rule than a constitutional concern. Perhaps CMC agitation will change that.

Thoughts?

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