Wed. Sep 28th, 2022
"Because e-commerce comprises a virtual shopping experience with no ability to physically inspect or study the object," he explained, "consumers mainly rely on reviews posted on e-commerce platforms to see the opinion and experience of users who have already purchased the items or service." As a consequence, he noted, the right to be informed, which is a consumer right under the Consumer Protection Act of 2019, is breached as a result of bogus and misleading evaluations. "Because the problem affects individuals purchasing online on a regular basis and has a substantial influence on their rights as consumers," the secretary continued, "it is critical that it be reviewed with greater attention and depth."

NEW DELHI, INDIA : On Friday, the consumer affairs ministry and the Advertising Standards Council of India (ASCI) will hold a virtual meeting with stakeholders, including e-commerce companies, to discuss the prevalence of fake reviews on their platforms, which mislead consumers into purchasing online products and services.

The meeting’s goal is to create a road plan for the future. The discussions will focus on the impact of fraudulent and misleading reviews on customers and potential steps to prevent such anomalies, according to a statement from the ministry.

Consumer Affairs Secretary Rohit Kumar Singh has written to all stakeholders, including e-commerce companies such as Flipkart, Amazon, Tata Sons, and Reliance Retail, as well as consumer forums, law schools, lawyers, FICCI, CII, consumer rights activists, and others, inviting them to attend the meeting.

The secretary has shared the findings of an EU-wide screening of online consumer evaluations from 223 key websites with stakeholders.

The screening results show that at least 55% of the websites breach the EU’s unfair commercial practises law, which requires honest information to be supplied to customers in order for them to make an educated choice.

Furthermore, the authorities could not establish that traders were doing enough to ensure that evaluations were real, i.e., if they were submitted by consumers who had actually used the product or service that was evaluated, in 144 of the 223 websites examined, according to the statement.

The secretary stated in the letter that with the increased usage of the internet and smartphones, customers are increasingly purchasing online for products and services.

“Because e-commerce comprises a virtual shopping experience with no ability to physically inspect or study the object,” he explained, “consumers mainly rely on reviews posted on e-commerce platforms to see the opinion and experience of users who have already purchased the items or service.”

As a consequence, he noted, the right to be informed, which is a consumer right under the Consumer Protection Act of 2019, is breached as a result of bogus and misleading evaluations.

“Because the problem affects individuals purchasing online on a regular basis and has a substantial influence on their rights as consumers,” the secretary continued, “it is critical that it be reviewed with greater attention and depth.”

By adele rose

Adele Rose is the senior editor and employee of WGBS Pvt Ltd Digital wing.

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