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Frauds ruin e-com business potentials


Published : 09 Oct 2021 09:56 PM | Updated : 10 Oct 2021 02:05 PM

With the development of technology, e-commerce is expanding rapidly and groundbreaking changes have taken place in this sector during the Corona period.

Online shopping has increased many times, at the same time, the number of entrepreneurs in e-commerce has also increased.

With the proliferation of this online business medium, fraud has also increased.

The general public has started to suffer from a crisis of confidence in online shopping after the fraudulent information of several companies including Evaly, E-Orange and Qcoom came to light recently.

Some e-commerce companies have recently been accused of cheating customers.

Several e-commerce companies did not deliver the product even after the scheduled time with the advance payment for the product in the name of special offer.

Many companies in the sector are also accused of siphoning off crores of Taka and transferring them to other places.

E-commerce merchants said that people are losing confidence in online shopping as a result of fraud by e-commerce companies including Evaly.

This potential sector is now under threat, they said, adding that the government's tough stance to ensure security in shopping can restore confidence.

At the same time, customers will gain confidence if they can ensure safe transactions and secure purchases, they mentioned.

In this regard, Commerce Minister Tipu Munshi had told reporters recently, people need to be aware when shopping in e-commerce.

In the face of previous fraud, we want to move to a system where people do not pay before they receive the product, he mentioned.

The government has taken steps against those who cheated, they will be tried through the courts, he mentioned.

We are making laws so that it does not happen again, he said adding that, that is why, action is being taken.

"Now there is no chance of cheating. Because, the money will be paid through escrow service. As a result, money will be paid to the seller only if the buyer gets the product," he mentioned

"All e-commerce companies have to register, I will always keep it in follow-up by the committee. Our job is to help traders," the Commerce Minister further said.

State Minister for Information and Communication Technology (ICT) Junaid Ahmed Palak told Bangladesh Post, "There is more or less cheating in all sectors. That is why e-commerce businesses cannot be blamed indiscriminately."

E-commerce is a promising sector, he said, adding that many start-up companies have sprung up in this sector including Pathao and Truck Lagbe.

Those who are doing bad things must be brought to justice, he mentioned.

It should be kept in mind that e-commerce companies have played a big role in the economy during the Corona period, he informed.

Even we have managed the online 'Haat' very well for sacrificial animals, he added.

Palak said, "So we have to save this sector through proper guidelines. People's trust in this sector cannot be destroyed by blaming."

Experts said the popularity of e-commerce shopping is increasing day by day due to the development of technology.

Due to the imposition of controls during the corona, a kind of radical change has taken place in the life and livelihood of the common person, they mentioned.

During this time people have naturally turned to e-commerce, they said, adding that a number of good e-commerce companies have also sprung up to increase online reliance.

E-commerce has now become an industry worth Tk 30,000 crore, they mentioned.

However, some e-commerce sites sell products to buyers with large discounts, but in many cases they do not deliver on time.

In this context, Bangladesh Bank has come up with the escrow service for buying and selling products online and securing the money of the buyers.

The price that a buyer pays when buying a product through this service will be credited to a third party.

The third party will pay the seller after assuring that the buyer gets his desired product or service.

On July 4, the Ministry of Commerce issued guidelines for smooth and efficient management of e-commerce.

It said that all the relevant laws of the country will be applicable to the management of digital commerce.

In the case of presentation of goods and services for sale and purchase on the website, marketplace or social media, all the details and terms related to the goods and services such as the terms and conditions of return of goods and prices, changes, deadlines for delivery and so on should be clearly stated.

Multi-Level Marketing (MLM) or network business cannot be conducted through digital commerce or e-commerce.

No money business can be conducted digitally without the permission of Bangladesh Bank.

The buyer may not be compelled to purchase any product or service directly or indirectly.

In addition, the goods or products must be handed over to the delivery person or delivery company within 48 hours after the full price of the product displayed for sale, and the buyer must be notified by telephone, e-mail or SMS.

In this case, the delivery company or the marketplace can use the tracking system.

If full payment of the product is ensured, the buyer and seller must be in the same city for delivery within a maximum of five days after purchase and within a maximum of 10 days if the buyer and seller are in different cities or villages.

Delivery time will be shorter in case of necessities and the obligation to inform the buyer clearly at the time of receipt of purchase order is also mentioned in the guidelines.

On September 26, the Ministry of Commerce formed a 16-member legal committee to review the legal aspects of the digital e-commerce law and the establishment of a separate regulatory authority.

The committee will formulate recommendations within the next 15 days to address the emerging problems in the digital commerce sector.

The committee will also formulate a draft law on the management and control of digital commerce in the next two months.

Hafizur Rahman, additional secretary to the commerce ministry, said, "We acknowledge that the recent events have created a kind of distrust in people towards e-commerce." It is very normal in the incidents of fraud that have taken place, this distrust will not go away very soon, it will take time."

We are already trying to run the business under the new policy so that no one is cheated again.

In addition, if the escrow service is successfully launched, people will have security of payment, he said adding that, if the payment is secure, there will be confidence.

Golam Rahman, president of the Consumers Association of Bangladesh (CAB) and former chairman of the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC), told Bangladesh Post that many e-commerce companies have cheated people.

It has destroyed people's faith, he said, adding that it was a big part of it, a lot of people are learning here.

"The concept that is recent in e-commerce is that there is a middle person in the middle without selling directly to the people. Their business is completely closed," he mentioned.

If the government enacts the right laws, the e-commerce business will return to the expected pace, he added.

We always want to keep online shopping safe for shoppers, he further said.

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