Consumers assured “Emirates Today” that outlets and pharmacies are practicing fraud methods to sell face masks at high prices, as they refuse to provide official purchase invoices to consumers, or write in the bill “general commodities”, demanding to tighten control and stop those methods and exploit consumers.
They pointed out that there is a shortage in the supply of gags, in addition to the difference in prices between the sales outlets and the e-commerce platforms, pointing out that some of the sales outlets offer unknown source masks, and do not carry any data or specifications.
In turn, sales outlet officials said that setting prices depends mainly on the supply price, which is high in light of the severe shortage in the whole world.
It is noteworthy that the spokesman for the Ministry of Economy, Hamid Rashid Al Muhairi, said in a briefing, recently, that a binding upper limit has been set for the prices of masks and sterilizers, so that the profit rate does not exceed 5%.
Lack of gags
In detail, the consumer Amr Ahmed said that a commercial store sells 30 masks for 90 dirhams, pointing out that these masks are placed in a transparent plastic bag that does not carry any trademark, or data that explains the specifications of the muzzle, its price and the country of origin, pointing out that he had to purchase it because Shortage in the market.
He added that the outlet provided him with a purchase invoice in which he did not mention the name of the sold commodity, but rather put it under the name of “general terms” or “general commodities”, calling for stricter control over the sales outlets and pharmacies, and stopping the methods of fraud and exploitation of consumers.
In turn, the consumer, Amina Issa, drew attention to the existence of a shortage of masks, and that some sales outlets and pharmacies exploit the needs of consumers, and sell them at a high price.
She said that a pharmacy refused to give her a purchase invoice, and offered 50 muzzle at 150 dirhams, while it previously offered outlets at 75 dirhams, confirming that the muzzle itself was previously sold at a price between 50 and 70 fils.
And demanded tighter control of sales outlets and pharmacies, to stop this exploitation of consumers.
As for the consumer, Maryam Sultan, she mentioned to «Emirates Today» that there is difficulty in providing the masks, confirming that she had to purchase anonymous masks without any data about their specifications. She said that the sales outlet recorded these gags under the name of “general terms” or “general commodities”, and did not specify them by name.
In turn, the consumer Khaled Naim said that he bought masks from websites that offered them at discounted prices, indicating that he bought 50 masks for 66 dirhams.
While another online shopping platform offered the amount for 139 dirhams.
He added that he bought the N95 type masks from an electronic platform for 10 dirhams for the muzzle, although it is sold at more than 30 dirhams in some of the market outlets. In the same context, the consumer Youssef Ahmed drew that he found N95 masks in a outlet at a price of 37 dirhams for the muzzle, pointing out that the price was greatly exaggerated, especially since government agencies announced that they were selling for 10 dirhams.
In addition, the official in a sales outlet (KD) said that the selling outlets buy the masks in bulk and pack them in bags to achieve great gains, pointing out that these gags are likely to be adulterated or manufactured without approved specifications.
As for the official in another outlet, Idris Ibrahim, he said that setting prices depends mainly on the supply price, which is high in light of the severe shortage in the whole world, calling on consumers to insist on obtaining a purchase invoice.
In turn, one of the officials of a gags supplying company, (A.M.), said that there is a severe shortage of gags at the world level, and therefore we are forced to accept high prices, so that there is no shortage in the local market, indicating that it does not follow the selling prices in the outlets. All of them, so the difference in selling and supply prices is unknown.
The Ministry of Economy
In addition, the Director of the Consumer Protection Department at the Ministry of Economy, Dr. Hashem Al-Nuaimi, called on consumers to obtain purchase invoices clearly indicating the price, and not to purchase an unknown source, indicating that the past period witnessed closures, fines and warnings to stop raising prices and exploiting consumers, within Extensive control campaigns in cooperation with local departments to control the market.
Al-Naimi called on consumers to be positive and send complaints to the ministry and economic circles in the event that prices are raised for investigation and to know their true causes.
He pointed out that the markets witnessed the supply of several types of gags during the last period to fill the shortage, pointing out that the whole world is witnessing a shortage in some types, due to the strong increase in demand and the need of all countries to it, in addition to the influence of production capabilities in some countries.
Al-Bahar: The use of secret inspectors
Retail expert Ibrahim Al-Bahr said that what happens from some sales outlets and pharmacies is a clear manipulation and fraud, because giving consumers invoices in which the high price of muzzles is written or expressly writing “muzzles” in the invoices will lead to violating the outlet, or even closing , In light of the tightening of control operations by the Ministry of Economy and local economic departments. He pointed out that some merchants are taking advantage of the crisis to achieve significant gains, calling for more tightening of control, the use of secret inspectors, and the facilitation of receiving consumer complaints.
The sea praised Dubai’s economic efforts, pointing out that the department tightened supervision and took strict measures against violators, which led to the return of masks to the markets, with offers being offered to them in a number of sales outlets and associations, and he said: “This is what I saw myself.”
The Economy: The markets witnessed the supply of several types of gags to fill the shortage.