There is a rapid growth of online shopping that provides both quality goods and reliable services. This also enables the window-shopping (read screen shopping) at comfort of your home. Generally online stores source the products directly from manufacturers cutting down the distributors commissions which allow them to sell the products as reasonable price giving benefits to the consumers.
The most of the online shopping experiences are pleasant but some exceptions are always present so some rules have been made. The Indian concept includes Cash on Delivery or COD as far as possible for the physical products. For some services like airline and train tickets, online payment proves much better.
In general, Indian portals backed by the true human faces with real name and address, which are traceable, are more reliable than any foreign MNC websites where contact details are not published. Buyers tend to buy from those sites who take interest in providing solutions.
Any online shopping must not be done with entities, who haven’t disclosed all their contact details. Why work with those who are in hidden mode and work only through call centres an emails. However, inspite of all precautionary measures, if something goes wrong and online stores become unreasonable then:
1. First call them and ask to resolve the issue or refund your money back. But they will not resolve or refund the money on phone then ask them to stop harassing on phone and provide all their explanations in writing. The talking over phone is cheap and is done just to draw the attention to lose temper so that you can make a mistake. Then they will catch the mistake; hang to it, keeping the original cause aside and easily stealing your hard earned money.
2. If any fraud has occurred, there are various ways to recover your money. If the purchase has been done using credit card, then call your bank and ask for charge-back and there will be good chances for recovery. If debit card or Net banking was used then though the chances are low, but still you can complain to the Reserve Bank of India.
3. You can also file Public Grievances for free on PG Portal online about:
- Report to the Ministry of Consumer Affairs about the portal and the specific issues you faced.
- Report to Ministry of Corporate Affairs about the way, the company operates which is detrimental for the consumers and also to National Interest. Also mention the names and registration number of the Directors.
- Report to Ministry of Finance about the undisclosed details of the Custom Duty Clearance, local taxes, Octroi, service tax that are charged by portals or sellers for the product or service or the freight
- Report to Ministry of Labour about the suppliers, employees and vendors of suppliers who are not enrolled with the EPFO.
- Report to Ministry of Labour about the suppliers, employees and vendors of suppliers who are not enrolled with the ESIC.
If portal is also doing trade in US, then along with the above complain must also be filed online with SEC.
5. The names of Directors of parent company must also be found out along with their email addresses and carried forward to Indian Government PG Cell and SEC.
Lastly, all these together must be blogged using social media. Information is spread very quickly in viral way once it is posted on social media in an effective way.
To conclude, anything can be bought online from domestic portal and not any international one only. Being the adopter of new technologies, different laws and cyber laws prevailing, Indian customers are not treated as the companies treat their local residents. Laws differ and hence the process. On other hand, Indian portals possess a more solution-oriented approach as they may be put up for independent forums for the resolution and treat the Indian customers equally.