Consumer affairs minister Ram Vilas Paswan said consumers were of ten taken for a ride at three levels “First, they are allured by misleading advertisements. Subsequently , when they buy an item online, either they don’t get it in time or the product they get is sub-standard. There is no relief after you buy an item. The transac tions are happening online and the buyer and seller never meet,“ the minister said.
Jaitley and Paswan said proposed amendments in the Act will address such concerns and protect consumers rights. “The volume of trade in ecom merce is only going to increase.. That’s how trade is going to change. So, under these circumstances, we need a very powerful and efficient (consumer) forum. The manner in which representations are made and the underlying principle of buyer being aware of the nature of goods and services itself will now have to be rewritten,“ Jaitley said while addressing a conference on working of consumer forums.
To address these concerns, a clause has been added in the proposed bill stating that transactions made through any mode for buying any goods and hiring or availing any service will be covered under the law.
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Misleading ads may soon invite action
In a bid to crack down on false and misleading advertisements, the consumer affairs ministry is considering filing cases against such advertisers. In the last three months, the ministry has received 114 complaints and many of them relate to the health and education sector.
“We have launched a portal where consumers can lodge complaints. We are compiling details and these cases will be investigated. Since in most cases misleading advertisements impact huge section of society, we will file cases on behalf of consumers seeking compensation for the damage caused,“ a ministry official said.
According to data compiled by the consumer affairs department, misleading complaints also relate to financial services, food and real estate sectors. Dipak Dash For the full report, log on to http:www. timesofindia.com