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CCPA Issues Notices To Amazon, Flipkart, Snapdeal For Selling Substandard Toys

The ecommerce platforms were issued notices for listing toys that flouted the mandatory BIS standards

While four toys each were flagged on Amazon and Flipkart, the body also highlighted three substandard toys sold on Snapdeal

The consumer protection body has sought response from the ecommerce platforms within 7 days of the issuance of notice

The Central Consumer Protection Authority (CCPA) has issued notices to ecommerce platforms Amazon, Flipkart, and Snapdeal for selling toys violating the country’s quality norms.

The ecommerce platforms were issued the notices for listing toys flouting the mandatory standards of the Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS). The consumer protection body has sought response from the ecommerce platforms within 7 days of the issuance of notice.

In a statement, the CCPA warned the ecommerce players of action under the relevant sections of the Consumer Protection Act, 2019 if they fail to comply with the demands of the notice. 

The CCPA has also urged the director general of BIS to take immediate cognisance of the matter and take necessary action.

The order flagged four toys each listed on Amazon and Flipkart for flouting norms, while it also pointed out three separate toys listed on Snapdeal for violating quality control guidelines.

“Flipkart is a marketplace committed to democratizing eCommerce for all in India and enabling lakhs of small businesses connect with customers through technology. As part of our ‘customer first’ philosophy, maintaining the quality of products that sellers offer on our marketplace has always been the top focus area. We remain committed to ensuring the highest quality of products sold on the platform. We have received notification from CCPA and will respond appropriately,” said a Flipkart official.

Cracking the whip on the sale of spurious and counterfeit goods, the consumer protection agency has also expanded its pan-India campaign to include consumer durables such as electric immersion water heaters, electric iron, domestic gas stove, and others under the Quality Control Orders (QCOs) published by the Centre. 

As part of this, the CCPA has also directed the District Collectors across the country to probe instances of unfair trade practices and violation of consumer rights. It has also told local authorities to submit an ‘Action Taken’ report with regards to the matter to the consumer body. 

BIS Act, 2016 prohibits any person from manufacturing, distributing or selling items that are governed by QCOs and designates the contravention of such norms as a cognisable offence. Toys are also covered under the mandate which stipulates a host of penalties for flouting norms government the industry.

Ecommerce Players Under Lens

This is not the first time that the ecommerce platforms have come under the radar of the consumer rights body for flouting norms. Last month, the CCPA issued notices to Flipkart and Meesho for selling corrosive acids online.

Besides, the CCPA has also issued at least five separate orders pulling up ecommerce platforms for selling substandard pressure cookers. In November, the consumer body imposed a penalty of INR 1 Lakh on now-defunct Cloudtail (Amazon subsidiary), while it also slapped an INR 1 Lakh fine on the ecommerce player in October last year. 

It also fined Flipkart a similar amount in August 2022 for similar reasons. 

However, Amazon has dragged the CCPA to court over the October order. The matter is currently subjudice. 

Prior to that in July 2022, the CCPA also issued an advisory to ecommerce platforms, directing them to ensure that the sale of certain Ayurvedic, Siddha and Unani drugs was only done against valid prescription.

Besides, the body has also issued a flurry of orders against consumer-facing digital companies for flouting QCOs, ranging from ride-hailing companies to ecommerce majors. 

(The story has been updated to include statement from Flipkart)

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