The government has tightened the knot on e-commerce entities with the introduction of new rules, to accommodate and safeguard the consumer rights of the Indian citizens. These laws will include mentioning the origin of the country and cancellations of the return fee, as per the new draft.
Consumer Protection (E-commerce) Rules, which will fall under the Consumer Protection Act of 2019, is a newly introduced robust-mechanism of the Indian government. The mechanism will include a list of the set of rules has been introduced to the draft and will come into force from July 27 onwards.
“The Consumer Protection (E-commerce) Rules, 2020, which fall under the Consumer Protection Act, will be notified within the next few days,” said Ram Vilas Paswan, Minister of Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution in a video conference which held last week.
The rules are applied to local or international electronic retailers or e-tailers who sell different varieties of commodities in the Indian market. These sellers need to be get registered with the administration for selling goods in the future. And any violation of such rules will lead to penal action, says Paswan.
To know more, here are the highlights of the new rules of the Consumer Protection (E-commerce) Rules, 2020-
- According to new rules, the seller must define and display a break-up of pricing for a product. This will include the total price, tax, delivery fee, or any other compliant fee of the goods and services offered.
- The seller must also display the “Expiry Date” of the product on it and the “Origin” where the product is coming from. This information will help the buyer to get to know about their product during the pre-purchase stage.
- E-commerce entities should not impose “Cancellation Charges” on consumers on a cancellation made after confirmation unless the seller is ready to pay the similar charges if the cancellation was made from the seller’s side.
- Under the rules, the seller must inform the user with detailed information of return, refund, exchange, warranty and guarantee, delivery and shipment, and any vital information that may be useful to them in choosing the right product.
- The above details must be displayed under the e-commerce platform or website where the seller has registered themselves as an authorized representative.
- They are also “Not” allowed to manipulate the consumer with any additional charges to gain unreasonable profits or discriminate against the two of the same class. They are also “Not” to make arbitrary classification of consumers violating the CPA.
- A seller must define their identity by sharing authentic credentials including the name of their business, whether registered or not, geographic address, customer care number, and any rating or feedback about themselves on the platform.
- However, a seller must not indulge in rating themselves by imposing as “Fake Consumers” and fluctuate their Rating or quality of the products on these platforms.
- They are required to share information on available payment methods, the security of those payment methods, any fees or charges payable by users, their contact information, and information about the payment service provider.
- Under the rules, the seller is also responsible for the advertisement of their products on the platform. And these campaigns must be consistent with the actual product quality available on the website.
- Under the new rules for E-commerce portals, no seller will be allowed to discontinue or refuse to take back goods or withdraw or discontinue services purchased or agreed to be purchased, among others, subject to various conditions.