Govt asks online food aggregators including Swiggy, Zomato to improve grievance redressal mechanism

The department of consumer affairs directed e-commerce FBOs to transparently show consumers the breakup of all charges included in the order amount such as delivery charges, packaging charges, taxes, surge pricing etc.
  • Nusra Deputy Features Editor
Food Delivery

The government on Monday asked online food business operators like Swiggy and Zomato and others to submit a proposal within 15 days on improving their consumer grievance redressal mechanism amid rising complaints from customers.

The department of consumer affairs directed e-commerce FBOs to transparently show consumers the breakup of all charges included in the order amount such as delivery charges, packaging charges, taxes, surge pricing etc, reported PTI.

“The department of consumer affairs has 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,” read the order.

The direction was given during a meeting chaired by consumer affairs secretary Rohit Kumar Singh with major e-commerce food business operators to discuss pertinent issues which affect consumers in this sector.

The meeting was attended by online food business operators, including Swiggy and Zomato as well as the NRAI.

The department pointed out that 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".

These platforms were directed to show individual consumer reviews transparently and refrain from showing only the aggregation of reviews.

During the meeting, major issues raised by the consumer on National Consumer Consumer Helpline were discussed.

These issues included "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," the statement said.

On Swiggy platform, there were 803 complaints (22 per cent of the total 3,631) related to deficiency in services. Non/delay in delivery of product accounted for 17 per cent of the total complaints, delivery of defective/damaged product 13 per cent.

Delivery of wrong product and paid amount not refunded accounted for for 11 perr cent each to the total complaints.

Similarly, on Zomato platform, deficiency in services contributed 25 per cent to the total complaints followed by delivery of defective/damaged product (18 per cent), non/delay in delivery of product (11 per cent), paid amount not refunded (11 per cent) and delivery of wrong product (11 per cent).
 

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