Purchaser’s Rights Under Qatari Law

Article 11 of the Consumer Protection Law provides that the supplier shall refund the consumer or repeat the service in the correct manner where the service does not conform to the guarantee made by the supplier.

In the case of a contract for the sale of a specified quantity, the buyer may apply for annulment of the contract if there is a shortage in this amount that is so great that if he had known of it, he would not have made the contract (see Article 435 of the Civil Code). A legal action applying for annulment of a contract, or reduction of the price, or supplementation of the price, etc., will expire by limitation when one year has passed from the time of actual delivery of the good sold (see Article 437 of the Civil Code).

Article 110 of the Commercial Code states that the buyer has the right to compensation for the seller’s breach of obligation to deliver on time.

As for a purchaser’s right to compensation, the general principle under Article 199 of the Civil Code is that any person who commits an act that causes damage to another party shall be liable to indemnify such damage. Article 202 provides that compensation for an unlawful act will include moral damages.

Article 263 of the Civil Code enables a party to claim consequential damages that arise from the other party’s breach of contract, provided, however, that the contract does not pre-estimate the damage for such losses. The award of such damages will be at the discretion of the court and its assessment of the circumstances. On account of the general principle that the contract is the law of the parties, provisions limiting consequential damages are generally upheld.

Article 3 of the Consumer Protection Law provides that a consumer shall be entitled for fair compensation for any property or financial damages sustained by him as a result of the purchase or use of commodities or services.

A customer may also have the option to rescind the contract. The Civil Code provides that the parties may agree that, in the case of a failure to perform the obligations arising from the contract, such contract shall be deemed to have been rescinded ipso facto without a court order.

Such an agreement may not limit the authority of the judge to terminate the contract, unless the wording of the contract expressly indicates that this is the parties’ mutual intention.

Other than in commercial transactions, an agreement to deem a contract rescinded ipso facto shall not release the parties from the obligation of serving a formal notice. Any agreement between the parties to the contrary shall be void.

A customer may also rescind the contract if he is supplied excess quantities that cannot be divided, and the customer does not wish to pay for the excess amounts.

In case of purchase through electronic platforms, it should be noted that there are special rules that shall be applied and not the regular consumer protection rules. In fact, chapter eight (articles from 51-59) of the Law No 16 of 2010 Promulgating the Electronic Transactions and Commerce Law (“e-Commerce Law”) previews certain rules that shall be followed in case of an e-purchase.

According to Article 57 of the e-Commerce Law, unless otherwise agreed by the parties, “the consumer shall have, where contracts have been concluded by electronic communications, the right to rescind or terminate the contract within three (3) days from the date of entering into the contract as long as the service provider does not fully implement the contract in a manner that serves the purpose of the contract during that time and the consumer does not use the goods or products which he/she receives nor receive any benefit or value from them”.

Furthermore, Article 58 of the e-Commerce Law states that “unless the service provider and the consumer agree on another period for delivery or contract performance, the consumer may terminate the contract with a service provider where delivery or other performance of the contract is delayed for a period exceeding thirty (30) days and shall be entitled to a refund to any payments made by him/her under the contract for the products, services or other contract performance affected by this delay”.

Contact the author:

Mahmoud Abuwasel