An Open Letter to Amazon.in to effect policy changes in consonance with Indian Laws
1. Amazon is perhaps the world’s biggest online store and seller. So far no case is reported
for having adopted any unfair practice towards the consumers, except that the website is not transparent about the email ID or contact no. in case of any grievance by a customer. For that the consumer has to take a long route of website options involving waste of time . Even though it has a button for Customer Service it does not specify any EID to get in touch.
Recently it has come to my notice that two products were billed to the customer for more than the MRP printed on the packed product . Since all products whether in fulfilled category or non-filled category ,are purchased from the Amazon and payment is also made to the Amazon, under law they have to be responsible and accountable to refund any amount charged more than MRP even if the product was sold/shipped by a third party. In one case since the product was shipped and billed by a third party where an extra sum was charged, Amazon more than MRP, the dealer agreed to refund the excess in the account from where it was paid. However for a product which was directly sold and invoiced from Amazon store, they declined to refund the extra charged amount in CASH , but wanted to give ‘Amazon Coupon’ for the equivalent amount. This was not acceptable to me because as per Indian Government rules, if any cash is charged more than MRP, then it has to be refunded back only in CASH and not by any other barter system .
2 .On further representation , in online CHAT, Amazon Customer Care Executive agreed to refund me as ONE TIME EXCEPTION. I clarified that I am not interested in any exception to me as I am not fighting the issue for any gain but for upholding the rule of law. Hence, No exception to me only but a general rule in all such cases. This was not possible under the prevailing Amazon policy. I then, requested CSE to convey to Amazon Policy makers to :
i) Introduce policy to refund, if he payment is made/recovered in cash , which is A MUST in cases
of Charge more than MRP as per Indian Laws.
ii) To ensure Amazon’s consumer friendly image , it should not keep such sellers/vendors in their
own market place who charge more than MRP.
iii) Be more Customer friendly by specifying the Customer Service EID and Toll free no. to contact
in case of any grievance without wasting time and resources in to & fro mails.
3. Immediately after this Amazon’s senior representative called me form a server based in Dublin,
and explained that under the prevailing Amazon policy this is not done ,but he is a passing on the
recommendation for urgent consideration by the Policy Makers. I was, however, given a toll free
telephone no. for mobile as 1800-3000-9000 ( No given on web page) and those who wish to
contact thru’ BSNL/MTNL lines can try on 022 -30430101 on applicable charge to speak to the
Customer Care. I asked them why these ae not transparently given for all users ?
4. Now through this Open Letter , I also APPEAL to the Policy makers of Amazon.in to immediately
look into this legal requirement under Indian Laws. Those of the readers who agree to support
including the Controller of Legal Metrology Maharashtra to please like/favour and SHARE this
post published by me on FB, Twitter and LinkedIn.
Chairperson—Consumer Complaints Cell