Acting on multiple complaints filed by state consumers, the Department of Weights and Measures and Consumer Protection, Gujarat, has fined retail giants a penalty of Rs 25 lakhs each. The companies have been charged with fraudulent acts that are in gross violation of consumer order, as based on product catalogue/photo and/or delivery assurance.
The 60 companies facing the heat include Amazon, Flipkart, Myntra, Snapdeal, Swiggy, Zomato and GeoMart. This is the first time that e-commerce companies have been brought to court. Customers can submit their complaint mail at email@example.com
Also, e-commerce being based on what-you-see-is-what-you-get, the consumers felt cheated. Either the food delivered was not fresh or less than the quantity shown in the photo, or a garment way off the colour promised. The menu items placed on the app by online food delivery companies do not tell the weight of the dishes.
“The complaints range from defective products delivery, colour not the same as shown, inferior quality to weight being less than paid for,” shared an official from the department. However, retail platforms being just the selling point, the manufacturers often get away. End of year sales and festive sales, when the demand surges, are also period when the anomalies are most reported.
The nature of transaction being online, no tangible firm/shop could be hauled. Hence, about 100 employees were trained by the Director of Weights and Measures to frame the charges, understand the case and then, on ways to seek redressal.