E-commerce cos at the receiving end, plaints swell to 49,000

E-commerce cos at the receiving end, plaints swell to 49,000

- in Startups

New Delhi: Nearly 49,000 complaints have been received against
e-commerce companies till February this fiscal, a considerable jump
from 28,331 for the whole of last year, Parliament was informed on
Tuesday. For speedy redressal of these complaints, the National
Consumer Helpline (NCH) has partnered with 225 companies under a
convergence programme, it said.

The consumer affairs ministry runs the NCH with toll-free number
1800-11-4000 and short code 14404. The number of desks of this
helpline has been raised to 60, from 14. As many as 48,998 complaints
were received against e-commerce companies at the NCH during
April-February of 2016-17, Minister of State for Consumer Affairs C R
Chaudhary said in a written reply to the Lok Sabha.

About 28,331 complaints were received against e-commerce firms in
2015-16 and 16,919 in 2014-15. The consumer complaints registered with
the NCH are forwarded to the departments and the companies concerned.
The progress of redressal of such complaints is monitored constantly,
he added. To a query if the government plans to make it mandatory for
e-commerce firms to put product pictures on the website in a manner
that the printed MRP is visible, the minister said: “The draft
amendments to the Packaged Commodities Rules, 2011 made under the
provisions of the Legal Metrology Act propose that the mandatory
labeling declarations as per the rules shall be displayed on the
online trading platforms.”

Asked if the government is aware of absence of a clear policy for
operation of e-commerce portals, he said, “The government is aware
about the functioning of e-commerce companies. The rights of the
consumers involved in e-commerce are equally protected as per the
provisions of the Consumer Protection Act, 1986, in a manner similar
to transactions involving goods and services.” The consumers dealing
in e-commerce can file complaints in consumer courts for deficiency in
service and defective products, he added.

In a separate reply, the minister said consumers can register all
kinds of complaints related to electricity and water on the integrated
portal www.consumerhelpline.gov.in.
The complaints can be registered via the NCH. SNN

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