E-Commerce Customers Are The Ones Who Complain The Most in India – National Consumer Helpline
Shopping via e-commerce portals is something unique – Never before the E-Commerce revolution could consumers buy products without even visiting the store.
But this also leads to a lot of frauds.
When the consumer’s only tool to verify the product before ordering is trust, there have been instances when consumer was fooled by the seller; and instead of iPods, stones were delivered, instead of phones, dish washing soaps were delivered and fake e-commerce portals duped thousands of customers on the pretext of delivering quality products.
Understanding this urgent need of addressing a vital consumer-right issue, Govt. had launched a dedicated National Consumer Helpline, wherein every consumer from every niche can lodge complaints related to the product/services bought.
And the most interesting aspect is that ecommerce complaints form the majority of all complaints filed under National Consumer Helpline.
E-commerce Complaints Top The Charts
National Consumer Helpline is a joint initiative by Indian Institute of Public Administration (IIPA) and the Consumers Ministry.
As per recent data released by the Consumer Ministry, around 3.5 lakh complaints by consumers were lodged at the National Consumer Helpline in the last one year.
And the majority of these complaints belonged to e-commerce industry.
Prof Suresh Misra of IIPA said, “Due to increased penetration of internet and more companies pushing for online sale of their products, the number of complaints has also increased,”
And the most common type of complaint filed by e-commerce consumers is related to payment (not surprisingly). As per NCH, “paid amount not refunded” is the most common type of complaint lodged.
Ecommerce Portals Will Unite?
Reports also indicate that e-commerce portals in India are attempting to forge an alliance in order to address consumer complaints in a better way.
And the first step has already been taken.
As per IIPA officials, National Consumer Helpline has tied up with the top e-commerce portals for speedy resolution of consumer complaints, and the process is working fine it seems.
Prof Suresh Mishra said, “We have tied up with 35 e-commerce companies for faster resolution of complaints and it’s doing well,”
Although no further details were revealed regarding the scope of such partnership with e-commerce companies, and the exact process which is being used for connecting the consumer with the e-commerce portal via National Consumer Helpline; but this is certainly a welcome step.
Last year, Consumer Affairs Minister Ram Vilas Paswan, had said, “We can easily imagine what the consumers must be facing when these companies have not responded to emails from our ministry. We have asked the commerce ministry to find whether these are genuine players and take necessary action,”
At that time, Govt. had assured that action would be taken against 46 e-commerce firms, which failed to respond to Govt. orders related with consumer complaints.
We hope that the grievance redressal system initiated by National Consumer Helpline, in association with 35 e-commerce portals will help consumers, and enable a better, transparent and customer-friendly e-commerce market in India.