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46 Ecommerce Firms Fail To Reply Govt Emails On Customer Complaints; DIPP to Initiate Action Against 200 E-tailers

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As per a research by National Crime Records Bureau, cheating is the most common cyber crime in India as it has increased 19 times in the last 10 year.

In India, customer service is normally taken for granted, and is considered as one of the least priorities by the upper management. We may understand if repeated emails by customers regarding bad customer experience, cheating etc are ignored.

But what if Govt. themselves sends emails for resolving customer grievances to ecommerce portals?

A shocking revelation has been made by the Consumer Affairs Ministry, wherein they have complained to the Commerce Ministry that their emails regarding customer issues have been ignored by 46 ecommerce portals.

Prominent among them are Myntra, Sulekha and Olx, besides 43 smaller ecommerce portals from all over the country.

Such desperate complaint against ecommerce portals by a Ministry speaks volume about the seriousness of customer issues in India, especially among ecommerce firms, which are hell bent on increasing their GMVs, rather than ensuring a positive experience for all users.

We can very well feel the anger of Consumer Affairs Minister Ram Vilas Paswan, as he said, “We can easily imagine what the consumers must be facing when these companies have not responded to mails from our ministry. We have asked the commerce ministry to find whether these are genuine players and take necessary action,”

Although there are instances when police took direct action against an ecommerce firms, like in the case of BigSop.com, wherein thousands of complaints were registered due to frauds. However, such instances are rare, and the small-time purchaser of online goods is usually left in the middle, without any support or assurances of help.

We have already seen instances wherein stones were delivered instead of iPod and Vim Bar was delivered instead of mobile phone.

Is there anyone to stop and check such cases of cheating?

Commerce Minister Promises Action Against 200 E-tailers

After Consumer Affairs Ministry complained to the Commerce Ministry, it seems some strict action will be eventually taken against online cheating.

Govt. had made a major decision to bring ecommerce under the preview of Consumer Protection Bill, which will make it easy for Govt. machinery to take strict action against such misadventures by e-tailers.

An official from the Commerce Ministry assured: “The Consumer Protection Bill has incorporated e-commerce as a mode of trade and they will fall under the purview of this law. Hence, violation of consumer rights by them will become an offence,”

Way back in 2014, we had reported that ecommerce firms would be covered under the modified Consumer Protection Law, which will soon become a reality now.

Besides, as per Commerce Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, Department of Industry Policy and Promotion (DIPP) is all set to take strict action against 200 ecommerce portals, against whom complaints have been lodged by disgruntled consumers.

Although no names were revealed about these 200 ecommerce firms against whom action would be soon taken, it seems that these 46 online retailers which failed to reply to Govt. emails would be the first among them.

Besides, Commerce Minister also announced a new program, wherein any complaint against any ecommerce firm has be responded within two days, on Twitter.

A comprehensive ‘consumer grievances redressal system’ would be created, wherein two officials would be assigned to make sure that the complaints are taken care of.

The Minister said, “Our department does not deal with consumer complaints. However, this issue is complicated as many of the companies in question seem non-existent…we will look into it together with the consumer affairs ministry,”

We look forward to an active participation from the Govt. to ensure that consumers are not ripped off while shopping online; not only it tarnishes the image of a nascent and fast growing industry, but it also repels potential customers from shopping online.

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