The Abu Dhabi Department of Economic Development (ADDED) is throwing the spotlight on three of its home grown initiatives--the ‘Consumer Digital Platform,’ ‘Price Monitor,’ and the ‘Digital Complaints Channel’--during its participation at the 39th edition of GITEX Technology Week, the biggest tech show in the Middle East, North Africa and South Asia (MENASA), that will run until October October 10, 2019 at the Dubai World Trade Centre (DWTC). ADDED is one of the 32 government entities featured in the Abu Dhabi Government Pavilion which is headed by the Abu Dhabi Digital Authority (ADDA).
The three offered services have been developed and implemented to help ensure consumer protection and enhance better communication ties with the public, private sector companies and points of sale in Abu Dhabi. ADDED's move to highlight these new services is aimed towards enhancing Abu Dhabi Government's performance while also helping achieve digital transformation across its offered services.
H.E. Rashed Abdul Kareem Al Balooshi, Undersecretary, ADDED, said, “ADDED is proud to be participating at this year's edition of GITEX Technology Week, which is widely recognized as a strategic platform. This year's theme, ‘Synergizing the mind and technology economy,’ proves to be both timely and strategic as it complements our aim of consolidating efforts in the move to achieve digital transformation, particularly in the online products and services we offer to the public.”
Al Balooshi explained that the three initiatives being showcased at this year's show rely on harnessing modern technology to further enhance consumer protection, strengthen Abu Dhabi's business sector and offer leading smart services, which altogether help in achieving high levels of consumer happiness and customer satisfaction.
H.E. expressed ADDED's keenness towards supporting the government's digital transformation efforts. He also emphasized on the importance of enhancing the government services segment, which falls in line with the objectives set forth in the Abu Dhabi Government Development Accelerators Program ‘Ghadan 21’ and the Abu Dhabi vision to transform the emirate into a global smart city that provides a diverse portfolio of smart and electronic services to its citizens, residents, businesses and investors. The move also looks towards facilitating easier procedures and ensure the happiness and well-being of the consumer.
ADDED has revealed receiving considerable results for its ‘Consumer Digital Platform’ since its soft launch. In fact, the number of complaints received have totaled to 147 since the implementation of the initiative’s trial stage during the second quarter of this year. The complaints, which have already been addressed, covered various vital sectors in the emirate like retail, automotive parts, electronics and mobile phones.
The ‘Consumer Digital Platform’ offers a three-phase initiative comprising of 18 companies coming from several sectors, which have significantly contributed to raising investor awareness and the need to resolve consumer complaints. The offer of these new services have successfully resulted in a significant decrease in the number of complaints received by the department.
ADDED has revealed that the initiative have driven in a reduction in the procedure process--from seven to three easy steps wherein the time required to address the complaint has also dropped down to two days as compared to the earlier process time of five days. The services have also helped raise awareness about ADDED's functions, laws and legislations concerning consumer protection, including efforts to boost the quality and enhance the role of the department as a supervisory body in consumer protection, and activating partnership, cooperation and joint coordination between the public and private sectors to achieve the welfare of society and the quality of life in Abu Dhabi.
The ‘Price Monitor’ initiative has been created to provide comprehensive research and compare product prices of commodities within the emirate. The service is also focused on highlighting consumer prices via ADDED's electronic tools, which in turn, will allow consumers to view, update and compare the list of prices of goods and products. The ‘Price Monitor’ service is aimed at helping facilitate a smoother transfer and exchange of data and information on prices, names and consumer products agreed upon through electronic means.
The third initiative, ‘Digital Complaint Channel’, reflects ADDED’s keenness to enhance communication with consumers, business owners and companies with the aim of enabling them to submit a complaint directly through the department’s website or ADBC’s digital application. This facilitates easy access to the Department’s services and accelerate the entire process in relation to complaints.
H.E. Al Balooshi pointed out that the new offered services reflects ADDED's move to create smart digital platforms aimed at reinforcing communication ties with its customers. The move also allows for easier access to ADDED, which represents a forward step in the emirate's government service segment, including the efforts to create an integrated digital society based on knowledge, innovation and creativity.
H.E. pointed out that the ‘Consumer Digital Platform’ service was created to help enable the private sector--serving as a joint electronic platform between points of sale and ADDED. Under the initiative, ADDED's consumer protection team will be able to quickly follow-up and directly address consumer complaints to ensure the preservation and protection of consumer rights while at the same time enhance the role of the private sector in dealing with consumer complaints.
Al Balooshi shared that the ‘Price Monitor’ initiative is being launched in cooperation with the Statistics Centre - Abu Dhabi (SCAD) to provide an updated and approved price list of major commodities at several outlets in Abu Dhabi. This will now allow consumers to view and compare the prices. The initiative complements ADDED's keenness towards enhancing the concept of consumer guidance and educate consumers on the need to know about prices of products across several outlets in the emirate.
“In line with our commitment to create direct channels with our consumers, ADDED has spearheaded the creation of a 'Digital Complaints' channel that will be part of the ADDED website and the accompanying mobile app of the Abu Dhabi Business Centre (ADBC). The channel will help consumers increase awareness about their feedback and complaints via the mentioned tools--reaching out to the concerned team in charge of following up on the consumer complaints in Abu Dhabi,” Al Balooshi stated.