During an Award ceremony the Malta Competition and Consumer Affairs Authority (MCCAA) has announced the winners of the first edition of Premju Servizz bi Tbissima.
First place was awarded to BHS (Sliema), second place to Mothercare (Valletta), and MSV Life was awarded the third place.
In her speech, Hon. Helena Dalli, Minister for Social Dialogue, Consumer Affairs and Civil Liberties, said that the creation of such Award was an electoral promise with the main objective being to recognize those businesses who invest in good customer care and after sales service. This Award also encourages and promotes good commercial practices.
Hon. Dalli said that customers who feel that they have been served well during their shopping experience, will not only buy again from the seller who took care of them but will most probably recommend him/her to their friends and families.
Minister Dalli also mentioned the online market place as a competitor to local sellers. Online shopping offers consumers a wider variety of products to choose from at competitive prices. Hence local sellers need to provide their customers with the best sales experience and if possible should also start selling their products online.
Dr. Dalli remarked that when consumers complain about the products or services purchased, sellers should take these complaints seriously and provide acceptable solutions to their customers without unnecessary delays and hassle.
MCCAA Chairman, Mr. Marcel Pizzuto, talked about the need for businesses to anticipate what their clients require to always provide them with the best products and services, and to establish a good relationship with their customers. Mr. Pizzuto also encouraged businesses to recognize and award those employees who go out of their way to provide the best possible service to their clients.
In her speech, Ms. Joyce Borg, Director General Office for Consumer Affairs, explained that the MCCAA, besides safeguarding consumers’ rights, it also assists businesses in ensuring that they are aware of their legal responsibilities towards consumers. Ms. Borg said that the Technical Regulations Division within the MCCAA is responsible for the safety of products that are placed on the market and hence this Office advises importers and other economic operators about the regulations and standards they need to adhere to when placing consumer products on the market. This assistance is very important for business operators as they invest a lot of money in the products they decide to import.
The businesses who participated in the Servizz bi Tbissima Award competition had to comply with the Award’s code of conduct. Aspiring winners had to have a valid trading license and conform to all applicable regulations. The Jury, appointed to choose this year’s winners, checked whether there have been any complaints registered against these companies in the past four years and if this was the case, verified how these complaints were resolved. In cases of complaints referred to the Consumer Claims Tribunal, the Jury checked whether the Tribunal’s sentence was honoured by the defaulting trader.
Mystery Shopping also played an important role in verifying if the applicants are adopting a customer friendly relationship. The MCCAA mystery shoppers also checked whether prices in these retail outlets are indicated clearly and that the premises are accessible and safe. Regarding return policies it was checked and ensured that these policies add and not diminish consumer rights.
The feedback in the questionnaires filled by consumers served by the Award’s applicants, was also taken into consideration when choosing the winners of the first edition Premju Servizz bi Tbissima.