x Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 24 July 2017

Every UAE shop should have 1, 5 and 10 fils coins, says Ministry

Supermarket shoppers who do not get the correct change have a legal right to ask for it.

ABU DHABI // Supermarket shoppers who do not get the correct change have a legal right to ask for it.

The Ministry of Economy has regulations in place which stipulate that small coin denominations - including 1,5 and 10 fils - must be available in all outlets.

Dr Hashim Al Nuaimi, the ministry's director of consumer protection, said people "should be getting their exact change.

"No extra money should be going to the cashiers or supermarkets," he said, describing it as "illegal behaviour".

He said it was a requirement that shops and supermarkets request the coins from the Central Bank and that rounding up or down was illegal.

According to Mr Al Nuaimi, customers who do not get their correct change can call the Ministry's hotline number, 600 522 225, to report the outlet. The phone lines are manned between 9.30am and 12.30am.

While many customers choose to pay with their credit or debit cards, thereby avoiding any incorrect change issues, some customers do not care.

The Abu Dhabi residents Evalien Linthorst and Roelf Zomerman, who are from the Netherlands, said they "never notice it".

"It's the same in Holland with the euro. The small coins are not valid any more, so they just round it up; I guess they do that here as well."

Other countries, such as the United States, Australia and Canada, have been phasing out their smallest denomination coins. The cost of making some is more than their actual worth.

molson@thenational.ae