Within 15 days, the Department of Consumer Affairs has instructed e-commerce food giants to provide the present framework as well as a plan for strengthening the consumer grievance redress procedure. It has also requested that food aggregator services like as Zomato and Swiggy allow consumers to choose whether or not to share their contact information with businesses.
The directive was issued during a meeting with key e-commerce food industry operators, presided over by Secretary of Consumer Affairs Rohit Kumar Singh, to explore significant concerns affecting consumers in this sector.
Zomato and the National Restaurant Association of India (NRAI) did not comment when approached, while a Swiggy spokeswoman on data sharing stated, “Keeping user privacy in mind, Swiggy does not disclose customer names and contact information.” All additional information about food orders, as well as demand and selection insights, is shared with restaurant partners.”
“We applaud the Department of Customer Affairs’ initiative to examine consumer complaints about online meal ordering,” the spokeswoman stated. The conversation among important players in the food ecosystem has encouraged us. As participants, we agreed that food makers and restaurants must collaborate to solve various parts of the complaints mentioned.”
Swiggy has had over 3,631 complaints on the National Consumer Helpline (1915) in the last year, while Zomato has received 2,828. On NCH, both firms are convergence partners.
E-commerce The Department urged FBOs to show consumers the breakdown of all charges involved in the purchase amount, such as shipping charges, packaging charges, taxes, surge pricing, and so on. Platforms must also display individual consumer reviews publicly rather than merely aggregated evaluations.
According to a Department statement, the e-commerce FBOs noticed that the prices of food products are determined by the restaurants, and they have a grievance redressal procedure in place, which has room for improvement given the volume and character of complaints filed by consumers.