Website for Omani social media businesses on cards

February 11, 2019

The Public Authority for Consumer Protection (PACP) is planning to set up a portal for Omanis who run businesses from home using social media platforms. Speaking to Muscat Daily, Omar bin Faisal al Jahdhami, vice chairman for Consumer Services and Market Control in PACP, said, “This portal will be for those who run businesses from home using social media platforms. This facility will be available for free to those sellers who register with this portal.”

Citing reasons for launching this website, he said, “Many online buyers approach us with complaints that they have been duped. At the time of delivery, they find that the product is different from what was ordered. Some pay for the items online while others are compelled to pay at the time of delivery leaving no choice. “We are not the authorised body to make rules for such businesses but we thought of streamlining it through this portal.”

Jahdhami said that those who run businesses via social media platforms are difficult to contact. “They usually provide a number but that too of a third party who is the one who delivers the good most of the times. “So if there is a problem, there is no redressal forum. That is where the portal can help. This will help sort problems that arise between consumers and sellers.”

He said that items such as clothes, accessories, bukhoor, food items, spices, home utensils, books, parlour services and cosmetics are offered on such platforms. “Today, almost everyone is on WhatsApp, Instagram and Facebook. Business via social media channels is booming. “There are many complaints too. We can’t stop anyone from doing business. So, a consumer will be more than happy to buy goods via such a portal. We can even contact the seller to sort out the problem between the two parties.”