Govt issues draft guidelines for protection of on-line shoppers
06 August 2019
The government has come up with draft guidelines for the e-commerce sector to ensure that online shoppers are not cheated and that consumer complaints about products or service from an e-commerce site are looked into and resolved speedily.
The draft guidelines focus on bringing transparency and accountability in the sector by putting a check on misleading information, harassment of online shoppers by the e-commerce players.
The draft guidelines propose that every e-commerce firm employ a grievance officer to address customer complaints, and resolution in a timely manner. In addition, the guidelines issued by the ministry of consumer affairs suggest that all cancellations, refunds or return against any shopping have to be done within 14 days.
In case of any complaints or issue raised by a consumer, the same has to be sorted or redressed in a maximum of one month.
E-commerce companies will also have to protect the identifiable information of their customers, according to the draft guidelines on e-commerce.
The draft guidelines have been uploaded and put up for stakeholders' suggestions and views. For the next 45 days, stakeholders can give their suggestions or views - till 16 September 2019, after which modification, if required, will be made and final guidelines will be put for approval.
The e-commerce sector has been growing rapidly in the country where major players like Amazon, Flipkart, Snapdeal - among others - dominate the market. With the emergence of many new players, the traditional dominance is being challenged as also raising the parallel issues of online customers being allegedly exploited by e-commerce players. The government has been receiving many voices to frame solid rules and regulations for the industry.
The ministry has invited views from the stakeholders on the draft guidelines by 16 September.