It is good to note that the Ministry of Commerce has recently proposed a draft guidelines to prevent online trade fraud. As reported by this daily on Thursday, the draft of the e-commerce guidelines mentions that online-based e-commerce companies have to deliver products to the customers within five days of receiving the advance payment. If the product order is received from within the same city a maximum of five days and if the order is placed from another city or village product must be delivered within 10 days of advance payment against the odder. We hope, when implemented, the new policy will help empower both consumers and entrepreneurs.
It needs no emphasising that over the last several years online business has expanded in Bangladesh at a tremendous rate. We now prefer ordering our desired products online from home as large gatherings in shopping malls or restaurants pose serious health risks due to Covid-19. Though economically marginalised and lower-middle-income families are still market-oriented, middle class or upper-middle class people now prefer shopping online.
A regulatory body should be deployed to prevent
consumers from being deceived and given low quality or
It is disconcerting to note that a number of unscrupulous traders are deceiving customers exploiting the opportunity of people's reliance on e-commerce during the pandemic. Many customers with little knowledge of the process of online shopping ends up being deceived. They are mostly cheated on Facebook based online shopping pages, where fraudsters post beguiling product pictures with tempting offers and take money in advance for the product. Once they are successful in ripping off the customers, they close their page without providing the products. Also, they deceive customers by supplying substandard or expired products.
Unethical business practices in online shopping platforms have become rampant these days. Amid hundreds of thousands of online shopping platforms identifying the safe ones has become increasingly difficult. Hence, necessary steps should be taken to deploy a regulatory body to prevent consumers from being deceived and given low quality or date-expired products.