On 23 May, Consumer Affairs Secretary Rohit Kumar Singh announced that the Consumer Affairs Ministry has issued an advisory directing retailers not to insist on the personal contact details of customers for delivering certain services.
New Advisory – Retailers Cannot Ask For Consumer Details
It appears that this advisory has been issued following the several consumer complaints.
Several consumers complained that sellers refuse to provide services unless the consumers share their contact details.
Singh further elaborated that the consumers have complained about many retailers not providing them services if they refuse to share their contact number, he said.
The Secretary stated, “Sellers say they cannot generate the bill until personal contact details are provided. This is an unfair and restrictive trade practice under the Consumer Protection Act and there is no rationality behind collecting the information.”
Consumer Privacy Concerns
This move indicates that the Consumer Affairs Ministry has a privacy concern.
Hence, an advisory has been issued to the retail industry and industry chambers CII and FICCI to address this issue in the interest of consumers, Singh said.
It is noteworthy here that in India, it is not mandatory for the customers to furnish their mobile numbers to a retailer to generate a bill.
So according to this finding, customers are put in an awkward situation by retailers insisting on a number to conclude transactions.
Basically, customers are not given an option to opt out in many of these situations, most of the time.
The way it is asked, customers think that it is mandatory so they provide it with hesitance.
This latest move from the Consumer Affairs Ministry comes amidst the increasing reports of scams being carried out through phone calls and text messages.