Follow norms or face music, advertisers told

MUSCAT, June 19 – Advertisers, beware. The failure to fulfil tall claims that you make can land you in trouble. According to the Public Authority for Consumer Protection (PACP), a misleading advertisement can invite fine, imprisonment and/or suspension of licence and other legal proceedings.
Likewise, those responding to such advertisements have been asked to check their legal validity and authenticity before entering into a deal with the advertiser.
“The Public Authority for Consumer Protection calls on consumers to be cautious,” said a senior PACP official.
“Be convinced of the need to verify advertisers’ credibility before acting upon advertisements.”
Recently, a court in the Wilayat of Al Buraimi has issued a judgment against a person for violating the Consumer Protection Law issued by Royal Decree No (66/2014).
The person was convicted, imprisoned and fined.
A person had advertised online saying he had opened a domestic workers’ recruitment office, and that he needed workers.
An expatriate paid him the amount but was not provided the required service as promised in the advertisement.
The plaintiff approached the Consumer Protection Department in Al Buraimi seeking reimbursement of the value of the service promised and compensation for the damage he had suffered as a result of non-compliance.
The PACP, which found that the accused had failed to fulfil terms of the offer, sentenced him to three months’ imprisonment and fined RO 550. He was also asked to return the principal amount paid by the complainant.
“Exercise caution, care and diligence while responding to advertisements and make sure all transactions are properly documented,” said the official.
Social media sites too warn users against falling victim to advertisements.
“Never pay money in advance. Meet the seller in a public place, see the product and convince yourself before taking a step forward.
“Also, one is urged to avoid items with unrealistic prices and not to proceed with the deal if something is found to be wrong,” Olx, a platform for online buying or selling, urges its users.

KABEER YOUSUF