The Consumer Affairs Ministry along with the Advertising Standards Council of India (ASCI) will on Friday hold a virtual meeting with stakeholders, including e-commerce entities, to discuss the magnitude of fake reviews on its platform, which help consumers buy products and services online. misleads. The purpose of the meeting is to prepare the road map for the future. In a statement, the ministry said the discussion will largely be based on the impact of fake and misleading reviews on consumers and possible measures to prevent such discrepancy.
Consumer Affairs Secretary Rohit Kumar Singh has written to all stakeholders: E-commerce entities like Flipkart, heroine, Tata Sons, Reliance Retail and others, consumer forums, law universities, lawyers, FICCI, CII, consumer rights activists etc. to participate in the meeting.
The Secretary has flagged with stakeholders the results of an EU-wide screening on online consumer reviews on 223 major websites.
Screening results underscore that at least 55 percent of websites violate the European Union’s Unfair Commercial Practices Directive, which requires consumers to submit truthful information to make an informed choice.
Furthermore, in 144 of the 223 websites examined, officials could not confirm that merchants were doing enough to ensure that reviews were authentic, that is, if they were posted by consumers who Had actually used the product or service reviewed, the statement said.
The secretary said in the letter that with the increasing use of internet and smartphones, consumers are increasingly making online purchases to purchase goods and services.
“Given that e-commerce involves a virtual shopping experience without any opportunity to physically view or test the product, consumers are able to view the reviews posted on the e-commerce platform to see the opinions and experiences of those users. who have already purchased the goods or services,” he said.
As a result, due to fake and misleading reviews, consumer rights under the Consumer Protection Act, 2019, which is a consumer right, are violated, he said.
“Since this issue affects people shopping online on a daily basis and has a significant impact on their rights as consumers, it is important that this is investigated more thoroughly and in detail,” the secretary said.