Question: I recently purchased a pair of skating shoes for my daughter, which unfortunately broke within just four days. I returned the shoes to the store expecting a replacement, but they only offered a repair. The shoes were clearly defective and unsafe for my daughter, yet the store refused to replace them. Is this legal, and how should I proceed?

Answer: According to Article 1 of the Federal Law No. 15 of 2020 on Consumer Protection in the UAE, a 'Defect' is defined as a lack of quality, quantity, or efficiency, or a discrepancy in the product's external shape, size, or components due to an error in design, manufacture, production, or provision, which may cause harm or prevent the consumer from fully benefiting. A 'Malfunction' refers to any issue affecting the product after production or the service after provision, potentially harming the consumer or preventing full benefit, unless caused by the consumer's actions.

In the UAE, sellers are required by Article 6(2) of Cabinet Decision No. 66 of 2023 to provide a warranty document, either separately or within the invoice. Article 10(1) of the UAE Consumer Protection Law mandates that suppliers must honor warranties, provide spare parts and maintenance, replace products, or refund their value within the specified time limit. If a supplier becomes aware of a defective or malfunctioning product, they must report it to the UAE Ministry of Economy (MOEC) and take steps to remove it from the market, as per Articles 11 and 12 of the UAE Consumer Protection Law.

If you believe the skating shoes are defective, you are entitled to claim a replacement. If the seller refuses, you can report this to MOEC and file a consumer complaint against the seller. Federal Law No. 15 of 2020 on Consumer Protection and Cabinet Decision No. 66 of 2023 are applicable in this situation.