The Government has notified new rules for E-commerce Entities as a part of its updated Consumer Protection legislation.
The Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distributions have notified “The Consumer Protection (E-Commerce) Rules, 2020” which will be a part of the Consumer Protection Act, 2019.
Under the new regulations, the E-commerce Companies will have to display the total price of goods and services offered for sale along with a break-up of other charges. They are also required to mention the Country of origin of goods and services and state the expiry date of goods offered for sale.
According to the norms, all the necessary details of the products have to be mentioned for enabling the consumer to make an informed decision at the pre-purchase stage. The Ecommerce Companies will have to display details about return, refund, exchange, warranty and guarantee, delivery and shipment, and any other information.
Sellers who offer goods and services through a marketplace (i.e.) E-commerce platform should also provide the above details to the E-commerce platform. E-commerce Companies are requested to display the details about the sellers offering the products, including the name of their business, whether or not registered. They should also display seller’s geographic address, customer care number, and any rating or other aggregated feedback about such seller, as per the recent rules.
It is also noted that E-commerce companies are requested not to impose “cancellation charges” on consumers cancelling orders after confirmation unless sellers are ready to pay similar charges in case cancellation of orders are from their side.
Companies are not allowed to “manipulate the price” of the products or services offered on their platforms to make an unreasonable profit and should not discriminate between consumers which affect the Consumer’s rights under the Act.
The new regulations will be applicable to all Electronic Retailers or E-commerce platforms registered in India or abroad who are offering goods and services to the Indian consumers. It is said that any violation of the Consumer Protection (E-Commerce) Rules, 2020 will attract penal action under the Consumer Protection Act, 2019.
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