The National Consumer Helpline registered around 1,300 consumer complaints against ecommerce companies last year. From 2014-15 till 2016-17 so far, it has registered a total of 2,494 complains from online consumers.
Who topped the list?
Out of all the companies reported to the Helpline, two Indian online retailers made it on the list –
Snapdeal came in 2nd with 209 complaints
Flipkart was in 4th place with 157 complaints
The Minister of State Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution, C R Chaudhary said, “The provisions of the Consumer Protection Act, 1986, cover all goods and services and all modes of transactions, including e-commerce. A consumer can file a complaint relating to e-commerce transactions in the appropriate consumer forum established under the provisions of the Consumer Protection Act. There is no proposal to bring in a separate legislation for e-commerce platforms.”
Snapdeal receives more complaints
Ecommerce companies like Snapdeal claim that they receive more complaints than the National Consumer Helpline has recorded.
A Snapdeal senior executive stated, “We receive a lot more complaints daily and solve these as soon as possible. Around 95 per cent of the complaints gets sorted within our system. The number recorded by the government bodies are just a few complaints, where customers might have gone to them. I am sure we solved these problems as well.”
What are consumers complaining about?
The complaints received by the National Helpline mainly comprised of issues related to:
- Orders not reaching
- Broken or damaged products delivered
- Counterfeit products
A senior official at the consumer ministry said, “Many of the complaints are very serious as they deal with counterfeiting. The government is extra careful about dealing with such complaints. Also, the helpline tells people to go to the consumer court as well.”
According to the government, there was no proposal made to set up a National Consumer Safety Authority. But, the Consumer protection Bill introduced in Parliament looks at providing a body that offers consumer protection against unfair trade practices.