KUWAIT: Recently, an image of a ‘fake discount’ offered by a popular international furniture store went viral on social media. It was a photo of a bill of that store showing a piece of furniture originally cost KD 24 before the sales season, while the same piece during the sales period cost KD 29 before the discount and KD 26 after the discount. The social media user who spread this picture charged the store is cheating consumers, “who are now smart to figure out fake sales”. He claimed sales are not real as he knew the price of the product and was waiting for the sales period to buy it. 

Kuwait Times confirmed the veracity of this claim with the Consumer Protection Department of the Ministry of Commerce, which is in charge of probing cases of cheating. The inspector said the price of the product was KD 24 more than a year ago, but the store later hiked the price up to KD 29. And during the sales period, they discounted the price to KD 26.

“After we saw this picture on social media, we went on an inspection to this store to seek clarification of the claim, which turned out to be false news. We are not sure if the social media user who spread it had the intention to tarnish the reputation of the store on purpose, or if he was not aware that the original price was old and not valid,” the inspector named Mohammed told Kuwait Times.

The Consumer Protection Department rarely receives complaints about fake sales. “We have only received a few complaints from customers complaining a store was cheating during the sales period. But when we went to check the store, we found the customer was wrong. The big and popular stores don’t make such mistakes and they usually follow the law,” he added. All stores should obtain permission from the Ministry of Commerce to hold sales. “After the store gets the permission, our inspectors check the store to confirm the discounts are for real. In case of any violation, the store will pay a fine,” Mohammed pointed out.

By Nawara Fattahova