The Indian e-commerce industry is growing at a rapid pace. As a result, the industry adds around 6 million new users every month. Therefore, as the number of customers skyrockets so does the risk of being cheated. Here’s an overview of the consumer rights in India and online shopping guidelines:
What Laws Govern E-Commerce?
E-commerce is when a transaction of money in exchange for goods or services happens electronically online. Hence, e-commerce consists of everything from shopping on Amazon or Facebook to Teleshopping from your TV. Therefore, provisions like the Consumer Protection Act, IT Amendment Act and several guidelines like the one from the Indian Medical Association (IMA) can help you protect against online fraud.
Consumer Rights Protection Act
The Consumer Protection Act protects consumer rights in India. Furthermore, it established consumer councils and other authorities for the settlement of consumer issues. As a result, section 6 under the Consumer Protection Act gives you these rights:
- Right To Safety: The consumer has the right to be safe against products that can harm his/her life, health or property.
- Right To Be Informed/Represented: The consumer is to be provided with the correct information of the product. So, he/she can take a call on whether to buy it or not.
- Right To Choose: The consumer has the right to buy any goods or services of his/her choice. As a result, the customer cannot be influenced by unfair means.
- Right To Be Heard: The consumer has the right to be heard if something goes wrong and file a complaint. As a result, companies have customer care services.
- Right To Seek Redressal: This right makes the consumer eligible for compensation, exchange or refund when unfair trade takes place.
- Right To Consumer Education: The consumer has the right to know about his/her rights. Particularly, to have people aware in case they come across unfair trade.
What To Do If You Get Cheated By An E-Commerce Site?
- E-commerce companies have a grievance officer as directed by the IT Act, whose details are on the company website. Thus, makes sure your complaint reaches him/her.
- The arbitration policy of the e-commerce company can help solve the issue.
- If either of these doesn’t work, gather your purchase details and produce numerous copies. Use an authorized postal service to post these copies to both the parties.
- If the issue is not resolved or you don’t receive any response you may contact the consumer forum. There are a number of local consumer groups that will help you out.
- If the company has violated any of your consumer rights in India, you’ll get justice.
Consumer Organizations In India
Consumer organizations are advocacy groups that work to safeguard consumer rights in India. These organizations help consumers get justice in case of cheating and protect them from unsafe products, false advertising, pollution, etc. Here are some consumer organizations in India and the world:
- Consumers International
- Bureau Européen des Unions de Consommateurs (European Bureau of Consumers’ Union)
- ICRT (International Consumer Research and Testing)
Consumer Rights Organizations In India
- Akhil Bhartiya Grahak Panchayat
- Consumer Guidance Society of India
- All India Consumer Protection Organization
- The Consumers Eye India
- United India Consumer’s Association
- Grahak Shakti Bengaluru – Karnataka
- Consumer Awareness, Protection, and Education Council
- The Consortium of South India Consumer Organisations
When shopping online, beware of fake offers and possible fraudsters. Furthermore, consumer rights in India safeguard you, but it’s your duty to exercise them. So, you should never hesitate to take on someone if your rights are sacrificed. It’s always better to know your rights as a consumer. It helps you stay informed and stay safe.