The Malta Competition and Consumer Affairs Authority announced the winners of the third edition of Service with a Smile 2017 on December 7.
This year the competition focused on five main categories of sellers. The Electronic Products and Household Goods category was won by Scan, while Forestals and Homemate placed second and third respectively.
Centro Moda won the Fashion and Beauty category. In this category Kiabi and New Look both placed second with equal votes; third place was awarded to Zara. The winner of the Supermarket and Mini Market category was Smart Supermarket, followed by PAMA in second place and PAVI third. The Travel category was won by Brittania Tours, while ROCS Travel and Hamilton Travel placed second and third respectively. Smart.com.mt won the Online Local Sellers category, while scanmalta.com and xusmalta.com placed second. Third place in this category was awarded to the online selling website www.maltasupermarket.com.
A special prize was awarded to Centro Moda for receiving the most number of votes from consumers throughout the competition period. This was sponsored by the GRTU and presented by vice president Marcel Mizzi.
In a video message, Deo Debattista, Parliamentary Secretary for Consumer Protection and Valletta 2018, congratulated the winners and thanked them for the good service they are offering to customers. Dr Debattista said these awards should encouage these companies to continue improving their customer service to attract more consumers and further strengthen consumer trust.
Dr Debattista stressed that the success of these companies is mainly due to the fact that they recognise the important role the consumer plays and hence opt to put the consumer at the very centre of their business operation. He also said that while it is important for sellers to offer goods and services at competitive prices, it is likewise important to help consumers while making their buying decision and also provide good aftersales service.
Dr Debattista also thanked consumers for participating in this competition. This year over 1,500 votes were submitted. This numerous participation has undoubtedly ensured that the best sellers received the well-deserved awards.
MCCAA chairwoman Helga Pizzuto said the main objective of this award was that of recognising those sellers who provide a good customer service and who adopt commercial practices that were beneficial to consumers and that strengthened consumers’ rights at law.
Ms Pizzuto said the Office for Consumer Affairs within the MCCAA, besides ensuring that sellers abide by their legal obligations, also encouraged business operators to adopt commercial practices that give consumers more benefits than those established at law. She explained that the MCCAA was committed to strengthening this competition and to encouraging more consumers to participate.
During the award ceremony four consumers, selected at random in the voting process, were awarded a €100 each. Consumers were presented with the cheques by Ms Pizzuto and director general, Consumer Affairs, Joyce Borg.
The companies that received the majority of votes in the five categories were vetted by the MCCAA to ensure that traders abided by the award’s code of conduct. The MCCAA checked that these companies adhered to regulations, that prices in their outlets were indicated as per the Price Indication Regulations, that consumer complaints were dealt with in a timely manner and that whenever possible they avoided disputes with consumers being referred to the Consumer Claims Tribunal by opting for resolution through conciliation. The winners of the five categories each received a trophy, a certificate and the use of the Service with a Smile logo.
The fourth edition of Service with a Smile will be launched by the MCCAA in the coming months.
Odette Vella is director, Information, Education and Research Directorate, Office for Consumer Affairs, Malta Competition and Consumer Affairs Authority.
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