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Centre gets maximum complaints against e-commerce giants over consumer issues

by August 27, 2017 General

NEW DELHI: The Centre received the maximum complaints against e-commerce giants last year, prompting the Quality Council of India (QCI) to suggest that the government should “name and shame” such companies with total number of pending customer grievances.

This has been revealed in a study by QCI for the government on the nature of grievances received by the Centre — a report on which has been released by MoS for PMO Jitendra Singh. According to the report, if illegal cow slaughter was the top complaint at the environment ministry, grievances against digital set-top boxes were the main issue at the I&B ministry.

The civil aviation ministry received the maximum complaints against Air India’s services, says the report. A ban on all porn sites were also raised by citizens.

The Centre got nearly 12 lakh grievances at its 88 ministries and departments last year, up from 8.7 lakh in 2015. The study is aimed at analysing these grievances, identifying the root causes and suggesting systematic changes to the government to reduce complaints.

Complaints related to e-commerce companies pertained to “unclear guidelines for quality check of the products, lack of standardisation of refund, delivery and exchange policy, no regulation on pricing and discount and poor customer service”.

QCI said the root cause of such complaints was lack of a policy on ecommerce transactions and quality check of products and unclear policies of some e-commerce companies on return, exchange and delivery.

QCI suggested a drastic approach — “name and shame e-commerce companies on the basis of total number of pending customer grievances” and integrate a real-time grievance forwarding mechanism between ecommerce companies and the government for an efficient redressal.

On cow slaughter, the report said essential measures to address grievances were taken by the government.

On the issue of porn websites, QCI suggested that the government should institutionalise a process to ban such websites by using advanced technology and firewalls, though it admitted to a cumbersome legal process involved in such an exercise.

On Air India-related complaint, QCI said the ‘Air Sewa’ mobile application should be positioned as a “one stop information dissipation channel” for flight status, airport information, baggage rules and FAQs regarding flight cancellations and refunds.

QCI has also recommended adopting techniques at Singapore, Dubai and London Heathrow airports to lessen the congestion at security, check-in and immigration counters. This included employing automatic body scanners, automatic tray-return systems, baggage-screening machines that allow passage of electronic gadgets in the carry-on baggage without having to place it in a separate tray and finger-print based immigration gates in which passport and finger print are scanned and registered before obtaining the boarding pass.

Consumers also complained against digital TV companies for charging money but not providing relevant services, and frequent loss of connection. Some people have said private channels need to be checked.

Centre gets maximum complaints against e-commerce giants over consumer issues