Consumer guide to online shopping – 10 points

1. Check whether the online shopping portal is genuine and authentic. You can verify this by making online search, checking their address and contact details. Beware of portals without address for communication or with incomplete address.

2. Check whether the portal is run by a registered company. If yes then taking legal action against them can be less cumbersome. The company and the directors’ information can be obtained from the MCA portal.

3. Always go through the terms and conditions for sale, cancellation and refund rules. Take a print of the rules and preserve it for future reference in case of any possible disputes.

4. Many portals allow refund but only to their wallets. You should be careful in dealing with these sites. You not like any of the product on these portals and you will not be able to use the money in the wallet.

5. If you are dealing with unverified, lesser known shopping portals then do not opt COD. Always pay online through bank / payment gateway so that you can track the beneficiary.

6. Never purchase through social media sites and apps (Whatsap, Facebook, Instagram) unless the seller has proven credentials. It is better to obtain copy of Aadhar Card or Voter Id of the Seller and transfer money only to the name appearing on these cards.

7. Check the product as soon as it is received. If you are gifting a product to someone else who is away from you then ask the person to check the product immediately upon receipt.

8. Any complaints should be reported to the Seller and portal immediately. If complaint is registered over telephone then record the same by sending it through email.

9. If possible, make a video of unboxing. This will help you in case of disputes in relation to receipt of wrong product, empty parcel.

10. If received empty parcel, it is advisable to file a police complaint as soon as possible. Thereafter approach the seller / portal with formal complaint.

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