Consumer Protection (E-Commerce) Rules Comes Into Force

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News: Government has notified Consumer Protection (E-Commerce) Rules, 2020.

Facts:

  • Aim: To prevent unfair trade practices in e-commerce, direct selling and also to protect the interest and rights of consumers.
  • Rules: The rules will be applicable to all electronic retailers (e-tailers) registered in India or abroad but offering goods and services to Indian consumers.

Key Provisions of the Rules:

  • Unfair Trade Practices: The rules empower the central government to act against unfair trade practices in e-commerce and direct selling.
  • Grievance officer: Marketplaces as well as sellers would be required to have grievance officers who have to respond in a time-bound manner.
  • Consumer Complaint: The companies need to acknowledge the receipt of any consumer complaint within 48 hours and redress the complaint within one month from the date of receipt of the complaint.
  • Manipulation of Price: The E-commerce companies are not allowed to manipulate the price of goods and services offered on their platforms to gain unreasonable profit and to discriminate between consumers.
  • Country of Origin: E-commerce companies are required to mention the ‘expiry date’ of goods offered for sale and ‘country of origin’ for enabling the consumer to make an informed decision at the pre-purchase.
  • False Reviews: The rules do not permit any inventory e-commerce entity to falsely represent itself as a consumer and post reviews about goods and services or misrepresent the quality or the features of any goods and services.