Retailers cannot require customers’ mobile phone numbers for services: Government
The Department of Consumer Affairs has issued a notice ordering retailers not to insist on customers’ personal details for the provision of certain services, Consumer Affairs Secretary Rohit Kumar Singh said today.
The advisory was issued following several consumer complaints. Customers complained that many retailers would not provide services to them if they refused to share their contact number, he said.
“Sellers say they cannot generate the invoice until their personal details are provided. This is an unfair and restrictive trading practice under consumer law and there is no has no rationality behind the gathering of the information,” the secretary told reporters.
There is also a privacy issue. Therefore, a notice has been issued to the retail industry and industry chambers CII and FICCI to resolve this issue for the benefit of consumers, he said.
It is not mandatory in India for customers to provide their mobile phone numbers to a retailer to generate an invoice. However, customers are put in an awkward position by retailers who insist on a number to complete transactions. Most of the time, customers don’t have the ability to opt out in many of these situations.
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