Department of Consumer Affairs Holds Meet On consumer Protection from online fake reviews With Amazon Google Flipkart Meta

Online Fake Reviews: Fake reviews online have become a cause for concern. So there has been a huge surge in consumer complaints against e-commerce companies. Regarding this, Secretary of the Department of Consumer Affairs, Nidhi Khare, has held a meeting with the stakeholders. It was decided in the meeting that the draft quality control order would be issued for public consultation and suggestions would be invited within the stipulated time limit.

In the meeting, a presentation was given on the increase in online shopping and complaints registered on the National Consumer Helpline related to the e-commerce sector. The number of complaints related to e-commerce registered on the National Consumer Helpline was 22 percent or 95270 of the total consumer complaints in 2018, which has increased to 43 percent or 4,44,034 of the total complaints in 2023. Due to virtual shopping in e-commerce, the consumer cannot see the products directly, for this he depends on the users who have previously purchased the goods or services. Online reviews work to provide confidence to potential customers after which they purchase any goods or services. But due to online fake reviews on shopping platforms, consumer trust is broken and questions about credibility start being raised.

In November 2022, the Department of Consumer Affairs had released Indian Standard 19000:2022 Online Consumer Review. In this, the accountability of the reviewing author and review administrator has been fixed. Among the requirements provided under the draft Quality Control Order, the processes for collecting, moderating and publishing online consumer reviews will be done in such a way that the reviews are genuine.

Under the Quality Control Order, biased online reviews will not be allowed to be published. The organization will also not edit the review. No organization will stop consumers from submitting negative reviews. The adoption of Quality Control Order IS 19000:2022 has been welcomed by the stakeholders and everyone agrees that it is very important to protect the consumers from fake reviews in online shopping and it also needs to be monitored. .

Many online e-commerce companies including Google, Meta, Amazon, Flipkart participated in today's meeting. Apart from this, organizations related to consumer affairs also participated in the meeting.

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