The Israel Consumer Council, the country’s largest consumer organization, acting by virtue of the Israel Consumer Council Law, 2008, is currently launching a website in Arabic for the benefit of Arab consumers in Israel.
The new website contains a great deal of information about various consumer issues as well as tips and guidelines on how consumers should conduct themselves when involved in disputes with merchants, companies and retailers. It also contains extensive information on topics such as remote sales transactions, door-to-door sales, product warranties, consumer tips about cellular phone services and contracts, intelligent purchasing, consumer rights to cancel a transaction, information about the Consumer Council and various activities organized by the Consumer Council’s Department of Education and Information.
A survey conducted by the Consumer Council together with training and advocacy activities in the Arab sector, indicate that there is low awareness among the Arab public concerning consumer rights and that there is a small number of complainants from Arab consumers following their mistreatment or the abuse of their consumer rights. Many consumers end up being deceived and paying funds unnecessarily without the awareness that they can file a complaint through the Consumer Council, complain about a merchant and even sue in the small claims court.
The Arabic website has been set up to specifically meet this need: to inform the Arab public that they have someone to turn to and to increase their awareness on consumer issues such as remote sales transactions, services the consumer is entitled to receive for free, instances where they deserve compensation without proof of damage, and much more.
The Arabic website is the result of the hard work of the Department of Education and Information which aims to inform consumers about their rights and how to implement them, and to foster intelligent consumerism among Arab youth and adults. The Department of Education and Information is responsible for advancing one of the most important objectives of the Consumer Council: promoting intelligent consumer behavior and increasing awareness of consumer rights among the general population.
One of the Departments projects is the Galilee Project in collaboration with the Galilee Development Authority, whose main goal is to promote and raise awareness of consumer rights in the region, as well as empower and develop the self-defense of Galilee residents from the Arab sector on consumer issues. The project includes informative workshops for different groups in the community, the integration and cooperation of youth centers in the Galilee, and initiatives for proactive social involvement in the community.
The new Arabic website joins the Consumer Council website in English which has been operative for the past two years. The Consumer Council has plans to set up a website for Russian speakers and a website for both parents and children.
Consumer Council CEO, Adv. Ehud Peleg, said at the launch of the new Arabic website: “The common denominator of Israel’s citizens and residents is that we are all consumers. The Israel Consumer Council attaches great importance to strengthening public awareness of consumer rights as a means to empower the individual consumer to protect himself against the unfair conduct of the business sector."
Peleg adds that every consumer who is aware of his rights and exercises his rights strengthens the entire consumer camp by helping to combat the culture of unfairness in Israel.