Peeved by the absence of formal guidelines to oversee the policies of the Indian ecommerce companies towards their registered sellers over matters like timely payment of dues — once again, similar complaints have resonated against Flipkart and its subsidiaries — Jabong and Myntra.
Moneycontrol quoted a few sellers of these marketplaces citing that their payment is being made in an interval of three months. “I got paid for January, February and March only in April,” one of the sellers of Jabong and Myntra said, adding that the payment cycle falls on the 15th of every month.
Earlier, in March this year, AIOVA also reiterated its demand for an ecommerce authority. According to representative bodies of e-sellers of India, All India Online Vendors Association (AIOVA), Flipkart has held back payments of up to 50-75% of the amount to be made to sellers.
In light of these allegations, some sellers had earlier posted their complaints on a closed Facebook page i.e. Flipkart Sellers Club, which has over 1,600 members. One of the sellers had reportedly mentioned about receiving only 50% of the payment, and another’s had written that only $503 (INR 34K) was received out of $2.63K (INR 1.78 lakh).
Flipkart spokesperson, however, maintained that there have been no issues on payments. “All payouts that were due to sellers are being made without any delay,” he said. He has reportedly said that there are some technical glitches in the system, “which is causing the amount displayed in the next or outstanding payment field on the seller platform to show incorrect numbers. We have intimated our sellers of the situation, and are working to fix the technical issue at the earliest,” he said.
Commenting on the most recent complaints by the sellers, a spokesperson of Myntra and Jabong said, “There is no delay in payments to our sellers. We follow a monthly payment cycle and all dues are settled accordingly subject to checks and reconciliations. Our overall seller, NPS, has been increasing and we have several initiatives in place to improve their experience further.”
Similar reports also surfaced recently against Snapdeal in the latter part of May, this year. At least two sellers have filed a case in the court over non-payment of dues by the firm, Inc42 previously reported.
Ecommerce Policy Framework To Be Ready In 6 Months, Missed Retailers?
In April, the government announced to come up with an e-commerce policy framework within six months to address issues such as physical and digital infrastructure, regulatory regime, taxation policy, data flows, etc. however, it did not take retailers into the account. The e-seller bodies have alleged that “the government is allowing e-commerce companies to control, dominate and distort retail trade”.
The Department of Commerce has set up a committee to come up with the ‘framework for national policy on e-commerce’ comprising members from government, industry representatives from telecom, e-commerce companies like Ola, Snapdeal, MakeMyTrip, UrbanClap, Justdial, PepperFry, Practo, etc. — but eluded the traders’ body.
As the country’s ecommerce market has reached $33 Bn registering a 19.1% growth in 2016-2017, according to the Indian government’s Economic Survey 2018, how the government intends to tackle the growing complaints against ecommerce firms is an interesting watch. Ignorance is not a bliss anymore.