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Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 27 February 2021

UAE consumer Q&As: Am I liable to pay for untouched goods?

Can I still be charged at a buffet if I am only accompanying my family to the restaurant?

When hiring a car from a car rental company, do I need to go over every single item in the car? If there is an item the firm says is missing at the time of handover – such as a jack – and I know I have not had occasion to use it, but I had not noticed the missing item at the time of taking the car, can the car hire firm charge me for this?

Usually, an individual is required to sign a contract with a car rental company to rent a car. At the time of renting the car, the customer has to ensure all equipment in the car is accounted for and notify the company of any missing equipment or accessories at the time of renting. The rental company may hold you liable for any missing items or accessories at the time of returning the car. The car rental company has a right to file a criminal case against you based on principles of breach of trust.

I accompany my family to the restaurant buffet but do not eat anything myself – can I still be charged by the hotel which argues that they cannot possibly keep track of what each guest is up to and therefore charge by head?

You will not be liable for any bill as long as you have not ordered food at buffet services. Hotels cannot simply charge for accompanying your family to the restaurant. The food bill becomes due when you have ordered food at the restaurant. It is a hotel’s responsibility to keep track of each guest’s order. You cannot be made liable for the bill by simply being in a restaurant. It is recommended to check with the hotel or restaurant in an open buffet to avoid being charged for not eating.

Is it legal for a shop to refuse to refund or exchange a faulty or unsatisfactory product just because it was unpackaged?

A seller is liable to refund or provide an alternative product in the event of a supply of a faulty product. It does not matter whether the packaging of product was removed. As long as the product is faulty, you are eligible to get a full refund of money in accordance with law no of 24 of 2006.

If you have a question for Mr Elhais, email with the subject line ‘Consumer Q&A’.

Published: May 20, 2015 04:00 AM