Impact Of The New Consumer Protection Act, 2019 On Ecommerce

Published on 01 Sep 2019 by Shivi

The Indian eCommerce sector has sprinted towards becoming one of the biggest eCommerce sectors in the world. From electronic goods to beauty products, from legal services to ordering food, consumers in India rely on the internet to buy their goods and avail top-class services from the comforts of their homes. 

This rapid boost in eCommerce in India has also led to an increased number of consumer grievances. Under the Consumer Protection Act, 1986, there were no or ambiguous provisions relating to eCommerce in India. Consumers facing grievances while purchasing goods from platforms like Amazon, Flipkart, Snapdeal, etc. or availing services from online platforms like MakeMyTrip, Swiggy, etc. didn’t have any protection.

To resolve this, the new Consumer Protection Act, 2019 was introduced by the Government of India and has widened the scope of protection to consumers. Under the new consumer protection laws, eCommerce will be governed similar to direct selling in India and online platforms for selling goods or services, or aggregating services will be held liable for any violation of consumer rights or adopting any unfair trade practices. Under the new laws, the following have been included under the ambit of the Act:

  1. E-marketplaces

  2. Product Service Providers

  3. Electronic Service Providers

  4. Online Auction Sites

  5. Online Service Aggregators

  6. Intermediaries

  7. Endorsers

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The new Consumer Protection Act, 2019 has also made the eCommerce guidelines mandatory on eCommerce platforms. Under the new consumer protection laws, the following will be applicable on eCommerce websites and apps in India: 

  1. Online platforms will have to disclose the details of sellers including their address, website, email, etc. and other conditions related to refund, exchange, terms of contract and warranty on their website to increase transparency. 

  2. The eCommerce platforms will also be responsible for ensuring that no counterfeit products are sold. 

  3. If any counterfeit or fake product is reported or recognised, the eCommerce company will be held liable. 

  4. The companies are also required to submit a self-declaration stating that it is conforming with the guidelines.

  5. The eCommerce platforms will also need to ensure that personally identifiable information of consumers is protected and should not directly or indirectly influence the price of the goods or services.

MUST READ: New Rights Of Consumers Under The Latest Consumer Protection Laws

The new Consumer Protection Act, 2019 also establishes a new central body called the Central Consumer Protection Authority for promoting and enforcing the rights of consumers and preventing the unfair trade practices of sellers and services providers, including eCommerce platforms. 

In the case of eCommerce as well, the sellers/service providers/aggregators can be held liable by the consumers for any harm, i.e. any stress or mental agony caused and the consumers can claim compensation for such harm. 

Under the new consumer protection laws, a consumer can also file a consumer complaint with the Central Authority against an advertisement or false description provided by the eCommerce seller or service provider that may constitute unfair trade practice. Online platforms can be held liable for any discounts or offers advertised to customers. 

For more information on the new consumer protection laws, you can talk to Legistify’s consumer court lawyers in India at 846-883-3013 or send us an email at [email protected]


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