The government on Monday asked online food aggregators to submit a proposal on improving the consumer grievance redressal mechanism within 15 days. The direction was given by the Department of Consumer Affairs during a meeting chaired by Secretary Rohit Kumar Singh with major e-commerce food business operators, as per the official release said.
“The Department of Consumer Affairs on Monday directed major e-commerce food business operators (FBOs) to furnish the current framework as well as a proposal on improving the consumer grievance redressal mechanism within 15 days,” said the official release.
The meeting was attended by major online food business operators including Swiggy and Zomato as well as the National Restaurant Association of India (NRAI).
“During the last 12 months, over 3,631 grievances have been registered on the National Consumer Helpline (1915) for Swiggy and 2,828 have been registered for Zomato,” the release further said.
During the meeting, major issues raised by the consumers on the National Consumer Helpline of DoCA were discussed including veracity of the amount of delivery and packing charges and the reasonability of such charges, disparity between the price and quantity of food items shown on the platform and actually offered by the restaurant, inconsistency in the delivery time shown to consumers at the time of placing an order and the time at which the order is actually delivered, and absence of any mechanism to separate genuine reviews from fake ones.
According to the release, “The NRAI raised the issue of customer information not being shared by the e-commerce FBOs with the restaurants which impacts their ability to serve the consumer needs better. Further, delivery charges are determined and levied by the latter. Further, a commission of around 20% is also charged by the online FBOs on each order.”