E-Commerce Consumer Complaint

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We can even send a legal notice and then file a consumer complaint, if necessary.

What is E-Commerce?

E-Commerce is the process of buying and selling of products or services on the Internet. This allows people to do business with no barrier of distance and time.


Who is an E-Consumer?

E-Consumers refers to a buyer of any goods and services through an online medium. This new group of consumers is rapidly increasing as online shopping becomes more popular and the norm of the modern lifestyle.

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When can you file a complaint?

You can file a e-consumer complaint in the following scenarios:


Price Issues:

Price is the money that the customer must pay for a product or service. In case if you are charged more than the price displayed then you can initiate an e-commerce consumer complaint.

Example: When you book a mobile worth Rs.5000 for cash-on-delivery, at the time of delivery you are charged Rs. 5500.

Quality Concerns:

The standard of something as measured against other things of a similar kind; the degree of excellence of something. When the quality of the product you have purchased online is less than the promised or expected standards or when the quality is less than the market standards then you can file a e-commerce consumer complaint.

Example: The product shown in the site differs from the product received in terms of colour or material.

Payment fraud:

Ecommerce businesses rely on electronic transactions to charge customers for products and services. The increased volume of electronic transactions has also resulted in an increase in fraudulent activities. Most of the companies do not entertain cash on delivery and insist payment on booking which also increases the chances of not receiving the product and the Company is least bothered about your order or bookings.

Example: When you pay for the product and don't receive the same or opt for a service with annual subscription but the service provider shuts down the company in the mid.

Missing product:

A product which you order and in return you don't get the same as you ordered for which you pay a huge value.

Example:When you order a mobile and end up getting soap.

How to file e-consumer complaint


Step 1

If you have any grievances, firstly you can address your complaint to the online customer care which is a basic dispute resolution system working 24/7. In case of absence, then a person can skip the first step.

Step 2: Send a written notice

You should send a written notice explaining the problem and the reason why you are unhappy with the product or service.

What your notice should contain

  • All the facts with relevant details like date, time and amount.
  • Any complaint or reference numbers.
  • Name of the representatives that you have been interacting with.
  • Amount of your claim.
  • Provide at least 15 days for the other party to reply to your notice.
  • State that you will approach the Consumer Forum if the issue is not resolved.
  • Address the Notice to the correct seller.
  • Send the notice through a registered post and record the acknowledgement of receipt.

Step 3 : Choose the correct forum

Based on the value of goods or services you have purchased or the compensation you claim,, you can approach the appropriate consumer forum/commission, i.e., the District Forum, State Commission or the National Commission. You have the option of filing the complaint yourself or appointing an advocate to represent you before the forum/commission. The time taken for the proceedings can range between 6 to 18 months.

Step 4 : File a written complaint

Each forum has a prescribed format you must adhere to while filing the written complaint. You must attach all the relevant documents supporting your complaint, like invoices, receipts, delivery challans, communication in writing (emails and SMS also), etc. It is important to submit the legal notice that you tried to communicate to the seller so that the court is convinced that you tried to resolve this dispute out-of-court.

Step 5 : Court fee for consumer complaint

To file a consumer complaint, you must pay a court fee:

    District Forum - Rs.500 State Commission - Rs.2000 National Commission - Rs.5000

If the case is decided in your favour, the Court will direct the seller to compensate you including all your legal costs, such as court fees and lawyer fees.

Where do you file your e-commerce consumer complaint?

The Forum you have to approach is decided based on the value of the goods & services purchased and the compensation you are claiming. If the total amount is:

  • Less than 20 Lakh Rupees - you should approach the District Forum.
  • Between 20 Lakh - 1 crore Rupees - you should approach the State Commission.
  • More than 1 crore Rupees - you should approach the National Commission.

As the sale or purchase occurred online, then the place mentioned in the terms of service of the seller’s website for dealing with dispute shall be chosen.

What are the remedies available by filing e-Consumer Complaints?

  • The defect in the goods or service deficiencies will be rectified.
  • Replacement to the defective product.
  • Reimbursement of all legal costs incurred in filing the complaint.
  • Compensation for any loss or suffering (including mental agony).
  • Place mentioned in the terms of service for dealing with disputes, on the seller’s website, shall be chosen for filing the complaint.

FAQ's

If you have ordered a product online, you are an e-commerce consumer, whether you paid for it online or offline. This includes ordering the product through a website, mobile app or TV shopping show.
The legal notice is the last formal communication to the other party by the aggrieved before taking the matter to the court. It indicates the seriousness of the issue and that you are aware of your legal rights.
It is a notice which is to be sent to the eCommerce company for the issues pertaining to your purchase of product.
Based on the issue of the product you can either go for a refund or replacement. However, you can also claim additional compensation, which you may get, subject to the response of the e-commerce company.
The legal notice is generally issued by an advocate on behalf of his/her client for the purpose of reaching a settlement.
Yes, Once the notice is sent to the other party and there is no response within the time prescribed then an online complaint can be filed at https://consumerhelpline.gov.in/ However, in order to get the best result, it is best to consult with an expert who can guide you.
It generally takes between 8 to 18 months to complete a Consumer Complaint case. Some issues get resolved after sending the notice itself. And many times, a settlement is reached after filing the Consumer Complaint also, depending on the company's response.
The legal notice serves as proof. The notice is given to the other party and then there is a waiting period of 15 days before filing a complaint with the Consumer Forum. This also makes your case stronger in Court, as it shows that you tried to resolve the matter before going to Court.

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