New Set of Rules for E-Commerce Players Coming into Force from This Week

Published: July 20, 2020

The Minister of Consumer Affairs, Ram Vilas Paswan, has announced that the new set of rules pertaining to the e-commerce players in India will come into effect from this week onwards. The new Consumer Protection Act is also coming into force from July 20 and it was necessary that the e-retailers are also brought under the ambit of the new act.

Highlights

As per the new rules for the e-commerce players, the following are the most important points:

  • The e-commerce companies will have to display the country of origin without fail in all their products. Otherwise, they will face a penalty for any kind of non-compliance.
  • The new set of rules will become applicable for all the e-commerce companies in India and abroad but are selling their products in India.
  • The new set of rules is mandatory in nature and any violation will attract penalty for the e-commerce players.
  • The companies will have to display the total price of goods and services offered for sale along with the break-up of other charges.
  • They will also have to mention the expiry date of goods offered for sale and the country of origin of the goods and services that are necessary for the customers to know before making an informed decision regarding the pre-purchase stage.
  • The e-commerce players will have to display all the details regarding a return, refund, exchange, warranty and guarantee, delivery, shipment, modes of payment, grievance redressal mechanism available with them and any other kind of information necessary for making an informed decision on the part of the customers.
  • Sellers offering goods and services through a marketplace e-commerce entity will have to provide all the details to the e-commerce company to be displayed on its platform or website.
  • The e-commerce players are not allowed to manipulate the price of goods and services offered on their platform to gain unreasonable profit and discriminate between consumers of the same class or make any arbitrary classification of consumers affecting their rights under the act.
  • The e-commerce players will have to provide relevant information available on payment methods, the security of such methods, any fees to be paid by the users, the process to cancel regular payments under these methods, charge-back options and the contact information of the relevant service provider.
  • They will also have to provide ticket number for each complaint lodged and the tracking status will have to be given to the customers.
  • The rules will not allow any e-commerce entity engaged in inventory business to falsely represent as a consumer and post reviews about goods and services.
  • The act also has provisions regarding liability with respect to the product and it also includes product manufacturer, product service provider and product seller.
  • No e-commerce inventory entity will be allowed to refuse to take back goods or withdraw or discontinue services purchased or agreed to be purchased or refuse to refund consideration if paid if such product is found to be defective.

The new rules are going to ensure that consumers utilizing the services of these e-commerce entities will be covered under the provisions of the Consumer Protection Act so that they are not deprived of their rights and entitlements.

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