Govt. Issues E-Commerce Guidelines for Consumer protection

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Ministry of Consumer Affairs has issued draft e-commerce guidelines for consumer protection that calls for e-commerce entities to maintain a level-playing field; prohibit influencing the price of goods and services directly or indirectly and dopting unfair promotion methods or misrepresenting the quality of goods and service.

According to the guidelines “E-commerce companies will have to protect the identifiable information of their customers and conclude all refunds on returned items in 14 days.”

It states “Companies should not adopt any trade practice which for the purpose of promoting the sale, use or supply of any goods or for the provision of any service, or composite supply, adopt any unfair methods or unfair or deceptive practice that may influence transactional decisions of consumers in relation to products and services.”

The draft guidelines also mandate companies like Amazon and Flipkart to ensure that the data collection, storage and usage comply with provisions of the Information Technology (Amendment) Act, 2008.

The platforms are also required to display terms of contract with the seller relating to return, refund, exchange, warranty, delivery and mode of payments.

The ministry has sought stakeholders’ comments on the guidelines by September 16.

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