Consumer Protection Under Saudi Arabia Laws

Introduction

In the industrialized world, consumers are provided with alternative choices with regard to goods and services.1 Consequently, governments have faith in the market’s ability to meet the tastes and preferences of consumers. As a result, such nations highly rely on market mechanisms rather than the regulations set up by the government as a means of protecting consumers.2 On the other hand, the situation is quite different in transitional and developing economies. In these economies, consumerism is in the process of maturing. Consequently, consumers highly rely on the government to come up with models, rules, and regulations to protect consumers from a business entity that offer them good and services. Given these circumstances, there is a need for research to be carried out on the rules and regulations that play a critical role in protecting consumers in transitional economies such as Saudi Arabia.

Saudi Arabia is a major player in the Arabic/ Islamic common market and in the Gulf-Corporation Council (GCC).3 Other member states of the GCC are Kuwait, Qatar, United Arab Emirates, Oman, and Bahrain. With the help of their alliance, GCC member states are in the process of developing a common trade and consumer policy as a means of achieving economic integration within the region.4 The proposed consumer trade policy contains laws and regulations that will enhance multinational marketing opportunities. Given its strong economic background and geographical size, Saudi Arabia will play a significant role in shaping the legal regulations that will control all commercial activities among the GCC member states. Advertising is an essential component of consumer protection. Therefore, investors who want to venture into the Saudi market and the GCC economic region at large need to have a clear understanding of the regulations that have been set with regard to advertising.5

Advertising Influences

Advertising is an essential component in the process of marketing a good or service. Therefore, to ensure that a firm and its target market benefit from advertising, the government, trade commissions, business bureaus, and so on usually come up with regulations that govern the entire advertising process.6 These regulations focus on advertising strategies, global standardization/specific regulations, and the effect that their content has on the target market and the society at large. According to standard proponents, universal appeals are highly feasible because of their ability to converge customer preferences that result from consumer mobility and exposure to international media and technology.7 On the other hand, critics put emphasis on a tailored approach whereby, they argue that environmental factors create a significant distinction amongst international consumers.8 Similarly, some writers point out that standardization boundary should be determined using a decision criterion such as product type, media availability, or the extent of market homogeneity. With regards to this, the core areas that need to be put into consideration include socioeconomic conditions, religion, ecological attributes, consumer orientation, media infrastructure, and government regulatory structure and control.9

Advertising regulations in Saudi Arabia meet all these considerations. However, the regulations put a lot of emphasis on religion and media infrastructure. In Saudi Arabia, religion is the most respected construct within the society. All other factors have been developed to be in line with the Islamic beliefs, laws, and practices. According to Wright (2001), countries can be grouped into the following categories with regards to advertisements:

  1. Religious dominant nations such as Saudi Arabia and Iran.
  2. Cultural nations such as Korea and Japan.
  3. Nonpartisan nations such as the USA, Australia, Sweden, and so on.10

The control that the Saudi government has on media infrastructure and the economy also plays a significant role in the establishment of regulations that affect advertisements.11 In Saudi Arabia, factors such as the socioeconomic environment, legal environment, and government priority affect advertising, its content, and regulation.

Given all these facts, this paper will expound on consumer protection laws in Saudi Arabia. Consumer protection is one of the vital issues that affect the economy of the Kingdom. To ensure that free and fair trade exists within the Kingdom, the government has always developed rules and regulations that protect the rights of consumers. Consumer protection is among the regulations that have been advanced to improve the economic viability of Saudi Arabia.12 The government of Saudi Arabia has put in place rules and regulations that will enable the kingdom to achieve social and economic development to be sustainable in the short run and in the long run.13 This is evidenced by the formation of the Consumer Protection Department in 1954 under the jurisdiction of the Ministry of Commerce and Industry. Other departments that play a significant role in protecting consumers include the General Department of Environmental Health, the Saudi Arabian Standards Organizations (SASO), the Saudi Chamber of Commerce, Department of Customs and Consumer Protection Association.

Literature Review

Even though most economies have adopted the free market principle where the prices of goods and services are determined by the forces of demand and supply, the government has always been an influential figure in ensuring that the consumers get the right quantity and quality of goods and services at the right price.14 The US government for example enacted the Bill of Consumer Rights in 1962 to ensure that the rights of American consumers are protected within the marketplace. As Ahmed (2003) asserts, the enactment of this law increased studies that focused on consumer satisfaction within the American market15. As a result, the phrase, consumerism, was coined and developed to be one of the key marketing terminologies in academia.16 Kilter et al. (1998), defined consumerism as, “An organized movement of consumers whose aim is to improve the rights and powers of buyers in relation to sellers.”17 Several studies have examined the consumerism influence on marketing decisions. In these studies, consumerism was identified as a significant factor that determines the strategies, decisions, and policies that will be put in place to protect.18

Studies that have been conducted in developed nations indicated that the consumers in these nations are discounted because of the following two reasons:

  1. High lifestyle expectations are characterized by high-income levels.
  2. Sociological changes and the business and government negligence to protect consumers.19

On the other hand, the study conducted by Andreasen and Best (1997) revealed that consumer discontent comes about as a result of multiple.20 Consequently, there are those scholars who have put a lot of emphasis on the study the effects of consumerism in third world countries and transitional economies.21 Kose et al. (2003) extended the consumerism concept to developing nations to determine the role played by the government in protecting its consumers from fraudulent activities by traders.22 Kaynak (1985) observed that consumerism the government of some developed countries played a critical role in enhancing and implementing the concept of consumerism as a remedy for numerous market violations within the market.23 With the government’s help, such nations have curbed practices such as fraud, efforts to a create monopoly, selling of low quality products, lack of product label information with reference to product expiry date and issues that are related to product contents and pricing.24

In many developing nations, consumers rarely bring forward issues that affect them with regards to the process of purchasing, procuring, and utilizing a product. As Douglas and Craig assert, the fact that these individuals lack the awareness regarding their rights as consumers plays a critical role in the development of this trend.25 Consequently, officials who implement consumer protection laws in developing nations lack the skills and expertise that is required to effectively deal with the complaints that have been raised by consumers. In addition to that, developing nations are overwhelmed with bureaucratic procedures when it comes to dealing with procedures and complainants. In these countries, consumerism is in its early stages of evolution. Kaynak (1985) developed a model that positioned countries at consumerism life cycle. This cycle had distinct stages each with a unique hypothetical basis.26 The model has four different stages of consumerism activity development. These stages include:

  1. Organization
  2. Crystallization
  3. Conceptualization
  4. Crystallization

Using this model, consumerism in Saudi is said to be in its crystallization stage. This stage is characterized by the lack of an organized consumer movement. As such, there are attempts by various semi-government and government agencies to protect consumer rights on a gradual basis, but they are not frequent and lack concrete organization. Even though several studies have indicated either limited27 or no evidence empirically28 in support of consumerism life cycle, empirical support is in favor of the Kaynak’s model basic underlying assumption.29

Saudi Arabia Consumer Protection

The Saudi Arabian market is characterized by large scale importation of durable goods, high level of competition between manufacturing firms in various industries, and an active private sector that supplements public corporations in the supply of goods and services within the kingdom.30 To meet the ever increasing needs of the public, the Saudi government has been enhancing and diverting its resources to support development projects that aim at increasing the efficiency and productivity of the kingdom. Despite the developmental goals that the government wants to achieve, the resultant consequence of its actions is the emergence of a monopoly and harmful competition. To meet the public demand, substandard goods and services are always present in the market. With the presence of a monopoly, the prices of these goods and services are not determined by market forces but by the manufacturers who set the price of their products well above the market price to make super-normal profits. In a bid to show concern of taking care of the consumer’s interest, the Saudi government has come up with specialized agencies. The consumer interest protection is achieved via price control, trademark protection and development of laboratories to check and control the quality of products sold to consumers. Numerous agencies have resurfaced in order to accomplish the above named purposes as shown in table 1 below.

Saudi Arabian Consumer Protection Agencies

Direct Agencies Indirect
The Department of consumer protection in the ministry of commerce.
Saudi Arabian Standards Organizations (SASO)
Laboratories of standard quality
City and village municipalities
Chambers of commerce and industry
Consumer protection Association
  • Health Units
  • Customs Authority
  • Ministry of Agriculture
  • Ministry of Interior

Data source: Sohail & Al-Ghamdi.31

Saudi Arabia Previous studies Conducted on Consumer Protection

In Saudi Arabia, extensive research has not been conducted in the field of consumer protection.32 Despite this, the few studies that have been conducted in the region revealed the risks that Saudi consumers are exposed to.33 In most of these studies, it was concluded that the government needs to establish agencies whose main aim will be to protect consumers such exploitation. The study conducted by Arafa (1987) brought into the limelight the role of Islam in consumer protection.34 Consequently, the study conducted by Riyad (1994) based its focused on factors that relate to consumer protection with regards to industrial and commercial fraud.35 While conducting his study in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, Hadi (1983) concluded that with four hundred consumers and thirty traders, it was imminent that the price of goods and services within the city to be high due to the presence of a high level of market demand. With this trend, it was evident that consumer protection agencies were reluctant to perform the duties and roles that have been assigned to them.

In 1991, Al-Qahtani focused his study on the operations of consumer protection agencies.36 In this study, 384 respondents were interviewed. From the survey results, over 250 respondents stated that the government agencies that are supposed to enlighten them on their rights with regards to consumer protection did not conduct their roles and responsibilities with the level of effectiveness and efficiency as it is expected.37 The respondents highlighted various areas of concern. For instance, the consumer protection agencies did not have information with regards to the actual situation within the market. At the same time, the laws that have been put to protect consumers are not clear and concise. Most importantly, there were instances where the capacity of such agencies to handle complaints from consumers was questionable. In his study, Al-Hamad (1993) stated that consumers avoided such bodies despite the fact that their rights might have been infringed due to the complex process involves as well as the inability of such agencies to respond effectively to their concerns.38 This act was triggered by various reasons. According to the study, Saudi consumers believe lodging complaints to respective authorities requires a lot of effort and time that they are not willing to put forward. Furthermore, such individuals lack the information and awareness of their rights and the agencies to report to in such an event.39 It was also identified that individuals who had basic knowledge and skills in business and economics exhibited high levels of consumerism as compared to individuals who do not possess any knowledge and skills in business and economics. As a result, the Saudi government always been facing the challenge of increasing the literacy levels of its subjects to ensure that they understand their rights as consumers.

Saudi Arabia Government Priorities

In Saudi Arabia, the protection of consumers is being given more attention, to be precise in extremely sensitive areas such as health, possible deception or safety. These attitudes are present in Saudi regulators and the courts while examining advertising practices for infractions.40 Consumer protection is also reflected on advertising restrictions, where a product is conceived to be harmful to the society. For instance, the directives of the Ministry of Health have led to a ban on the advertisement and promotion of cigarettes within the kingdom.41 This is done with an aim of protecting illiterate consumers from possible misuse of the substance. The government has also channeled a lot of its resources to ecological protection. Driven with the theme, ‘Keep the environment beautiful,’ the government has come up with regulations and rules that include heavy penalties on people and businesses alike if they are found guilty of damaging the environment. The current utilization of outdoor advertising such as the guardrails, billboards, bus stop shelters, and lamp posts has been assailed by critics as they view them as visual pollution.

Previously, in Saudi Arabia, most advertisements were done in English, perhaps because the utilization of standardized costs was low or partly because the ads were targeting western-elites. With continued domestication, there is need for localization of ads has increased. Some advertising agencies are already embracing this idea of bilingual ads.42 This requires Arabic creative copywriting, art, calligraphy, and design. Some of the companies in Saudi are utilizing a combination of advocacy and image advertising to inform the government and the public about their desire to support domestication. In summary, advertisements in Saudi Arabia are designed with an aim of them is compatible with the socioeconomic environment, religious standards, and priorities of the government.

Saudi Arabia Legal Environment

The legal system in Saudi Arabia is based on Islamic law also referred to as Shari’a.43 This includes the legislation that has been proposed as well as existing ones. The Shari’a governs the morals, duties, behaviors, and other aspects of an individual as well as the society. Therefore, to be in line with the Islamic laws that govern the kingdom, advertisers have warned against the use of messages that might be perceived as deceptive with regard to religious standards. From the Islamic point of view, fraud can result when a buyer fails to provide everything promised in the advert. In that case, advisers are required to make use of factual appeals. Consequently, products should not be promoted on TV or Radio while people are in the prayers and retail shops should remain closed during the five times of prayer every day.

The table below illustrates the harmonizing of Western-Oriented Advertisement to Saudi Audiences.

Advertising elements Adaptation nature Influencing factor
Length of the message Short copy Government/ cultural restrictions on media
Content of the message Emphasizing visual aspects, adding family and parental themes, avoiding perceived benefits of the product and themes; demonstrating tangible benefits of the product Religious
Language of the message Bilingual (Arabic/ English) Government priorities religious; cultural/ socio-cultural
Symbols Adding of local symbols, avoiding the use of busts and statues Religious; Cultural
Jingles/ Slogans Utilize with caution Religious
Advertisement characters The use of parental and male figures; women to be substituted with cartoon characters in sexually sensitive ads Religious
Pictorial backgrounds Add floral designs/ landscapes Socioeconomic
Appeals Increased use of factual and informational appeals Socioeconomic; Religious
Sexual themes Avoid Religious
Humor themes Tone down Cultural
Credibility themes Use of persuasive advertising Socioeconomic
Advertising nature Institute, advocacy, and image advertising Government priorities/socioeconomic

Data source.44

The Consumer and the Islamic Law

Throughout history, government studies documented that basic moral principles and ethical values are adapted from religion (Islam, Christianity, and Judaism). The principal values are written down continuously into the consequent legislative process. Historically, the law is a religious intertwined aspect.45 The Islamic law derives its inspiration from God via religious teachings and beliefs. The Islamic legislation’s main purpose of commerce and economics is to secure individual rights and maintain social solidarity by introducing high levels of morality to the business world and enforcing God’s laws in the enterprise environment.

As stated earlier, religion and legislation in Saudi Arabia are united since the legislative powers lie within the government, and all the legislations are based on Islamic law. Therefore, the legislative assembly is responsible for making rules and designing regulations within the Quran scope and domain. These are the basis on which the Saudi Law on consumer protection is defined. For instance, any agreement involving deceit, exploitation, or injustice is null and void hence it is strictly prohibited by law even if it has been concluded. Similarly, traders are forbidden to supply the consumer with goods that can inflict or result in physical harm.46 For instance, in an event where an individual has been harmed by fire, it is the duty of the fire department and the police authorities to analyze the incident and produce a report that is presented to the Saudi Arabian Standards Organization (SASO) officer.47 The officer eventually examines the background of the case and tests the evidence presented with an aim of assessing whether or not the product materials met the SASO set standards hence determining where the responsibility lies.48

In an event where products are defective or have expired, it is the duty of the consumer to inform the Ministry of Trade through its complaints department. Once a complaint has been filed, the ministry responds by visiting the alleged trader to investigate the issue at hand. In scenarios where consumption of ill-kept or expired foodstuffs affects the consumer, the Ministry of Trade has a special committee that analyzes the contents of the case and come up with a judgment that provides the way forward with regards to the penalty that is to be imposed on the errant retailer. The ministries of Health, Agriculture, and Trade are involved closely in the establishment of regulations that impacts on retailing standards and consumer rights.49

Sharia laws establish ethical and moral basis that are to be adhered to in commercial activities within Saudi Arabia.50 Honesty is one of the key values that have to be respected by consumers, manufacturers and all parties involved in the supply chain process. In summary, the basic tenet prescribed by Islam concerning commerce and trade are based on honesty, reliability and straightforwardness.51 Similarly, the Islamic economic philosophical, moral, and ethical imperatives are to integrate political, economic, and social need but confined within the Islamic morality and faith imperatives.52 Islam puts emphasis on duties rather than individuals’ rights.53 This forms the key counterpoint to many approaches used in the Western communities regarding consumer regulation which focuses on catalogues of rights or consumer characters. The reason behind the Islamic approach is that if members of the public fulfill their duties, then the pursuit of blind self-interest will be held within limits and all people’s right will be protected.54

The Islamic law principals are valid and fixed for all times. On the contrary, the interpretation of these principles is detailed in the Shari’a law. Shari’a law can evolve to deal with contemporary issues as it provides a room for humans to reason. The Shari’a laws are derived from four main sources. At the top is the Quran. The Quran is divine as each and every word comes from Allah. There are various verses in the Quran that deal with trade. For instance:

“… Who to those who deal in fraud, those who, when they have to receive by measure from men exact full measure, but when they have to give measure or weight to men gives less than due. Do they not think that they will be called to account on a mighty day, a day when (all) mankind will stand before the Lord of the Worlds?”(Qur’an, Sura, Lxxxiii: Verses 1-6).”55

Another source of Islamic law and interpretation is the Sunnah. Sunnah is a collection of actions (Hadith) and sayings of Mohammed the prophet as narrated and written down by his companions and followers respectively. Consequently, Ijma also provides the basic foundations of Islamic law. It forms the structure of code of conduct and moral principles as elaborated from the sayings of the prophet. Ijma’s development began when Mohammed died and continue up to the present moment. The last source is the Ijtihad that involves the consideration of the new challenges arising in the modern societies with regards to the Islamic law. Ijtihad provides the Muslim community with laws that reflect the ever changing life situations. For instance, the law governing the use of soft drugs such as marijuana is referred to as Qiyas.56 Given the fact that alcohol is banned by the Quran, the use of soft drugs is expected to follow suit since they have negative impacts on the health of individuals as well as their families.

The main purpose of the Shari’a law is to secure the rights of an individual and maintain solidarity within the society. To achieve this, the law introduces values and morality to the world of business. Therefore, traders are expected to be honest, transparent, and considerate/ their products are expected to be of high quality and consistent. Most importantly, all parties to a business agreement or contract are expected to adhere to the roles and duties that have been assigned to them as well as the rules and regulations that govern such an agreement.

Shari’a and Western Law: A comparison

There are significant differences between the Shari’a law and the commercial laws of western states. Shari’a law is divine thus it is not subject to change. Western laws on the other hand are flexible. With their flexibility, they can be amended or modified to increase their effectiveness given the dynamic nature of the society. Shari’a law subject matter is not purely based on human being relationship regulations. It as well incorporates other believers’ behaviors and practices such as fasting and prayers. Devotion acts are also separated from everyone common activities and acts. On the other hand, punishment for disobeying the Shari’a is done both hereafter as a well as in life after death. However, the punishment for violation of man-made laws such as customer protection laws in done here on earth but not in life after death. Moreover, man-made business laws and regulation cover fraud, deceit, as well as other violations which may occur against the laid down business principles and decencies. In the situation of such an offense, the responsibility is placed upon the individual who has breached the law irrespective of whether the offender was an intentional businessman or a local businessman.57 Additionally, waiving of any damage is always compared to righteousness in Shari’a law while in Western laws, it depends on the degree of the offense, and the criminal record of the accused and the penalties attributes to such an offense.

The Development of Commercial Law

Despite of the inflexibility of Shari’a law, the Islamic leaders have realized the importance of introducing special laws to address trade and commerce issues in Saudi Arabia and in other Islamic states. However, given the importance of religion in these states, these laws have to be in line with the requirements of Shari’a law.58 Any law that contradicts the Shari’a requirements is deemed null and void therefore it cannot be acceptable in Saudi Arabia.

The commercial Islamic law originates from the common Ottoman law under the French commercial law.59 Founded in 1931, The Ottoman commercial court has over 600 articles that focus on land trade, sea trade, as well as all commercial transactions that took place in the early 1930s.60 Some of the main pressures that led to the introduction of commercial laws in Saudi Arabia include the raising separation in control and ownership of Saudi Arabia companies, increase in complexity nature of international business operation, the necessity to minimize liabilities as a means of attracting more investors, commercial liberalization, globalization, advanced technology, as well as the growth and development international joint venture companies and franchises.61

Since time in memorial, the Islamic community has always been in the forefront of international trade. However, as a result of the advancement in modern technology, commerce in Saudi has become more integrated and infiltrated by international participants thus forcing the government to develop new laws that will be able to control and ensure trade is carried out in a free, fair, and efficient manner. As a result of these new laws, Saudi Arabia has been growing at a tremendous rate for the last four decades. This growth has largely been attributed to the role played by foreigners within the kingdom. These laws are based on a well planned incorporation of social, economic, managerial, cultural, and legislative laws.62 The law has also facilitated the significant investments in major economic infrastructures, as well as the increase in the number and size of private and public companies hence attracting foreign investors.

The Saudi Customer

The behavior of consumers in the Saudi market in not well understood as a result of the limited studies that have been conducted in this area. However, the available limited information offers a very distinctive pattern of consumers’ behaviors in Saudi Arabia that demands customers’ protection. According Zain and Yasin (1997), only a small proportion of consumers will return a product to the seller due to its low quality, failure to meet its expected standards or any other issue.63 This explains the need for adequate measures to protect the interest of consumers in Saudi Arabia. The reluctance nature of customers in Saudi Arabia has, as a result, made it easy for business traders in Saudi Arabia to exploit them by selling low quality products in the market places. In most cases, customers in the country do not evaluate the cost of the products with the quality of the product in the market.64

The unfavorable practices of the Department of Consumer Protection in Saudi Arabia have as well played a very crucial role in promoting negative responses from sellers. However, with regards to the available literature, it is evident that officials in this department are playing a critical role in assisting consumers to changing their attitudes towards consumerism.65 However, their efforts are strongly hindered by poor policies and regulations need to be put in place to address the needs of the consumers. On the other hand, consumers in Saudi Arabia are ignorance towards the Islamic edicts relating to customers’ protection. Despite the consumer ignorance, however, other players such as employers and sellers are also to be blamed for ignorance of the existing laws and regulations. Consequently, despite being aware of their basic rights, most consumers do not exercise their basic consumer protection rights.

According to Zain and Yasin (1997), education levels among consumers also play a significant role in determining their behaviors.66 Illiterate consumers in Saudi Arabia tend to be fatalistic, apathetic, and are less likely to complain about the quality of the product in the market as compared to the educated individuals within the population. On the other hand, low income earners are less likely to complain about the quality of a product in the market as compared to wealthy individuals. Additionally, poor and uneducated people within the society do not complain a lot about the quality of the product sold in the marketplace. As a result, it is evident that consumers in the western world are more aggressive on their rights as compared to their counterparts in Saudi Arabia.67

Consumer Protection Location within the Government Structure

One of the main objectives of the Saudi government is to achieve social and economic development through economic infrastructures to enhance the participation of the public in the development of the economy.68 The effort made by the government to protect the consumers began with the establishment of a consumer protection general department. The General Department of Consumer Protection has the following objectives:

  1. To shield consumers from commercial frauds
  2. To guarantee government agencies specifications and regulations conformity
  3. To guarantee manufactured and imported goods conformity. These goods need to meet the import specifications
  4. To carry out various tests of metals that are precious such as platinum, gold and silver. In addition to that, it aids in satisfying their true value and also regulating the trading of such metals.
  5. To develop the utilization of metric standards in volumes, lengths and weights with an aim of unifying the utilization of the aforementioned standards
  6. To support various government agencies while they are purchasing goods and products. In addition to that, it aims to advise on the inherent guarantees in the goods technical specification and offer the needed technical advice to the traders and the public.

Consumer Voice Development in Saudi Arabia

In Saudi Arabia, various factors have hindered the development consumerism. The absence of consumer interest promotion by government agencies, lack or absence of standards and publicity in various areas, lack of consumer regulation symmetric enforcement, and the reluctance by Saudi consumers to air their complaints to respective agencies when they are dissatisfied with a product. Despite the above limitations, laws and regulations have been advanced to enhance the voice of the consumer. For instance, citizens are now making use of the claims court system that enables them to pursue their complaints. This court offers its services free of charge and the parties involved represent themselves as they are governed by the Shari’a law.

The future of Saudi Arabia Consumer Protection Policy

As a result of the continued expansion of commercial activities and diverse products and commodities to meet the market needs, the governments in conjunction with the Saudi Standard Organization (SOS) have embarked on a thorough study to come up with measures that will enhance consumer protection. Furthermore, the government plans to create consumer awareness through information media. This will create consumer awareness that is based on Islamic values. The government therefore seeks to rationalize consumption practices and protect the consumers from deception, trickery, counterfeiting, and fraud.69 Apart from what has been mentioned above, the role of the consumer remains a crucial factor with regards to protecting and creating product attention and awareness, quality, validity, and safety. Consequently, traders are warned against advertising practices that are against the law. In such an event, the bodies concerned can implement rules and regulations against perpetrators using laid down regulations.

Conclusion

Over the last few decades, Saudi Arabia has experienced a lot of economic development making it to be one of the countries in the world with the highest levels of foreign investment. However, the current Saudi Arabia development stage, its economic size, wealth, as well as concrete Islamic trade perception has forced many scholars to invest a lot in trying to understand the Saudi Arabia customer protection trends. At the present moment, consumer protection in Saudi Arabia is mainly based on Islamic laws which are not as effective as it should be. Given these faults, it is necessary for the government to come but with better regulations and stringent rules that will create awareness among customers about their rights. At the same time, the government needs to come up with policies and strategies that will empower consumer protection agencies to conduct their duties and responsibilities in an effective and efficient manner. With these measures in place, Saudi consumers will be aware of their rights hence ensuring that the process of trade in Saudi Arabia is free and fair.

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Footnotes

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  7. Liefeld, p. 90
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  9. S Samiee, ‘Customer evaluation of products in global markets’, Journal of International Business Studies, vol. 25 no. 3, 2004, pp. 601
  10. PL Wright, ‘Consumer choice strategies: Simplifying vs. optimizing”, Journal of Marketing Research, vol. 2, vol. 1, 2001, pp. 67
  11. Wright, pp. 66
  12. Koren & Tenreyro, pp. 16
  13. Gaedeke, pp. 17
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  16. Swagler, R, ‘Evolution and application of the term consumerism: theme and variations, Journal of Consumer Affairs 28 (2) (1994): 347-61.
  17. Kotler, P, Armstrong, G, Brown, L & Adam, S, ‘Should marketing managers be concerned about attitudes towards marketing and consumerism in New Zealand? A longitudinal view’, European Journal of Marketing 37 (3/4) (1998):385-406.
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  26. Kaynak, E, ‘Some thoughts on consumerism in developed and less developed countries’, International Marketing Review 2 (2) (1985): 15-31.
  27. Varadarajan, P.R., Bharadwaj, S.G. & Thirunarayana, P. N., ‘Executives’ attitudes towards consumerism and marketing: an exploration of theoretical and empirical linkages in an industrialising country’, Journal of Business Research 29 (1994): 3-100.
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  30. Kaynak, pp. 27
  31. Supra note 2 at 71-79.
  32. Afify, S & Muntaser, S, ‘Dimensions of the consumer protection problem and the legal frame governing the same’, paper presented at the Consumer Protection Meeting, The Cultural High Council (Cairo, 1981).
  33. Boairah, A, ‘Consumer protection and the requirements of the developmental countries to the same’, The Arabian Management Magazine 4 (3) (1980): 57.
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  37. Boairah, p. 58
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