Govt to soon come up with new online shopping guidelines to protect customers

Govt to soon come up with new online shopping guidelines to protect customers

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Online shopping, E-commerce giant, Flipkart, Amazon

Online shopping, E-commerce giant, Flipkart, Amazon

So, how often you do online shopping? Given a chance, maybe all the time but amidst the Facebook data breach row and constant reports of customers being duped while doing shopping on the internet, how safe is digital shopping?

But to the customers relief, the government will soon launch guidelines for online shopping to protect customer’s interest.

Citing sources, a Zee Business report said that the consumer ministry would release new guidelines by next month, under which e-commerce companies have to give detailed information, including maximum retail price (MRP), manufacturing location and discounted price.

It also added that a slew of measures are likely to be adopted for addressing the issue of rising customer complaints. For example, a complaint number will be issued, a fixed timeline will be given to resolve the issue, and setting up of a grievance redressal mechanism for when the issue does not get resolved within a given period and a customer wants to escalate the matter.

Meanwhile, it has been reported that e-commerce companies in India are not an adhering to the labelling guidelines mandated by the government, Ahmedabad-based consumer rights body, Consumer Education and Research Centre (CERC) said on the eve of World Consumer Rights Day (WCRD). The findings are a result of a survey conducted by CERC.

Ministry of Consumer Affairs (MoCA) amended the Legal Metrology (Packaged Commodities) Rules, 2011, through a notification on June 23, 2017.

The new regulations, that came into force from January 1, 2018, mandates e-commerce firms to display MRP of goods along with other mandatory labeling information on their websites.

However, the survey, conducted across product categories of food, toys, household items and shoes on popular e-commerce portals like Amazon, Snapdeal, Flipkart and Bigbasket, revealed gaps in compliance.

It was found that companies did not display of MRP, there was a variation in MRP from portal to portal and manufacturing date, use before date, best before or expiry date were not mentioned, a violation of mandatory labelling requirements of Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI).