Official bodies are receiving a high numbers of complaints about various things every year. However, those have got in 2016 against large e-commerce companies outnumbered all others.
The Quality Council of India (QCI) suggested to “name and shame” these companies which have failed to give decent services to their clients. This propose came out after the Centre announced results of the study that analyse nature of grievances.
The Quality Council of India report, which was released by Minister of State for the Prime Minister’s Office Jitendra Singh, categorized complaints according to the ministry they pertained to.
For the Information and Broadcasting Ministry the biggest amount of received complaints was inadequate services by digital set top box providers. Air India’s services were many times complained about to the civil aviation ministry, and a proposal to blanket ban pornography websites was raised by many, while for the environment ministry, illegal cow slaughter despite a ban was the issue most complained about.
In total were received 12 hundred thousand complaints by 88 ministries and departments in 2016, a sizeable jump from the 8.75 hundred thousand complaints received in 2015, according to a report by the Economic Times.
According to the Quality Council of India, the complaints against e-commerce companies were mostly about “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”.
The basis of all the complaints received on e-commerce stems from a lack of policy on e-commerce transactions and the absence of a system to check the quality of products being sold. The ambiguity of the return, exchange and delivery policies of the e-commerce companies also contribute to the problem, writes moneycontrol.com.
The Quality Council of India proposed that the Centre “name and shame e-commerce companies on the basis of a total number of pending customer grievances”, along with creating a channel with the government where grievances would be checked and the malfunctions fixed.
India is not only one where e-commerce companies receive a lot of complaints. Problems ranging from missed shipping dates to outright scams ordinarily found offline now apply to the biggest e-commerce retail giants such as Amazon, Walmart, Alibaba etc., said Paula Selis, senior counsel in Washington state’s attorney general’s office.
According to CNet, on the 7th of November, Frank Rimalovski bought a TV set online from Amazon.com for $1,000. Aditionally, he paid extra money to have it delivered within a day.
When the TV never arrived, the man launched into a series of frustrating telephone calls during a period of 12 days with sales staff, specialists and others who apologized repeatedly for the delay but offered no explanation or solution.
Later Rimalovski discovered the television had been mailed to another address.
“I was jerked around,” he said in an interview today. “They did not return my phone calls, they did not call me back, the whole thing was so, so frustrating.”
Amazon spokesman Paul Capelli said he was unfamiliar with Rimalovski’s situation but considered it out of the ordinary of what most people experience on the site.
“It is not a typical story if it is true,” Capelli said. “We have 13 million people who currently shop on our site, and we try our very best to keep every customer happy.”
Similar stories of using e-commerce as Rimalovski experienced are becoming more commonplace. “Everything that happens with brick-and-mortar businesses is now happening in e-commerce, only it is more difficult to deal with because people can hide behind the anonymity of the Web,” said Selis.
As with most consumer complaints, figuring out where to go for a redress of grievances can be just as frustrating as dealing with an uncooperative company.
E-commerce complains is a very complicated area because it is still so new, so that many law enforcement agencies still do not have adequate staff to handle Internet-related complaints. Plus, consumers must file grievances in the city where the company is based, which may then involve several government jurisdictions.
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