Over 50,760 complaints were filed against ecommerce firms between April 2016 and March 2017, a steep jump from 23,955 in the financial year prior to that. The figures were recently revealed in a written reply to the Lok Sabha by Consumer Affairs Minister C.R. Chaudhary.
As per Chaudhary, around 13,812 complaints were made against ecommerce companies during April 2014 to March 2015.
To streamline the redressal process, the National Consumer Helpline is working with more than 340 companies, including around 55 ecommerce firms. As part of its convergence programme, the organisation relays complaints received through its system software to the respective companies for effective resolutions.
A joint venture of the Indian government’s Department of Consumer Affairs and the Indian Institute of Public Administration (IIPA), the National Consumer Helpline currently receives over 350K grievances every year, with the majority of them being filed against ecommerce businesses.
Given that consumers register their complaints through other avenues as well, the number is likely much higher than 50,767.
According to a report that surfaced in May, complaints against ecommerce companies actually topped the list at the National Consumer Helpline this year. As stated by Prof. Suresh Misra of IIPA at the time, most of these grievances pertain to “paid amount not refunded”.