It looks like Prime Minister Narendra Modi led central government has decided to take the necessary steps in order to provide much needed relief to the consumers. The government is all set to bring around rules and regulations which will act as a guideline for the e-commerce companies like Amazon and Flipkart. The directives issued by the government will make it necessary for the e-commerce companies to provide refunds within 14 days period in case of wrong or faulty product received. In addition to this, the companies will also have to ensure that any complaint received from the consumers should be solved within 30 days. According to a top ranking official from the Department of Consumer Affairs, the rules and regulations are ready in their final form and will most likely be implemented after the end of the ongoing monsoon session of the parliament.
After the new rules and regulations become effective it will become mandatory for the e-commerce companies to return or refund money for broken or damaged, wrong, counterfeit products. The rules will be applicable even if the products received by the consumers are not as described on the e-commerce portal. It will become binding on the company to provide refunds in such cases and the company will also have to display the aforementioned policy on its website.
Under the new rules the e-commerce websites will now have to display full information of the sellers on their portal. As of now, most of the e-commerce sites contend themselves by displaying just the names of the sellers, but they will now have to display the phone numbers and address along with the name.
The companies till date used to provide the response that they just act as an intermediary between the sellers and the buyers. By stating that they were just a platform for sellers to display their products the companies used to shun all responsibility for fake and low quality products sold from their websites. This practice will now end as the companies will be directly held accountable along with the seller which is selling the product. The companies will now also be responsible for keeping the buyer’s identity confidential from now on.
The practice of false advertising and using fake customer IDs to provide glorious reviews of products will come under unfair trade practices. It will become punishable by law and the e-commerce websites will have to pay hefty fines if they continue doing so. Selling products under new or wrong name will be considered crime and will invite legal actions from now on in India.
These much needed changes will help the consumers breathe easy as the number of frauds committed through e-commerce websites had been on the rise in the past few years. The e-commerce websites had been using loopholes to shun their responsibility, the rules will plug most of the woes faced by the Indian consumers. This was much needed and PM Modi in late 2017 too had stressed upon the need to provide for a consumer protection law in India.
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