Soumya Prakash Pradhan

The Indian Government has finally addressed complaints from consumers about sellers asking for personal contact details before providing services.

The Consumer Affairs Ministry, led by Secretary Rohit Kumar Singh, issued an advisory to retailers.

The advisory emphasises the importance of respecting consumer privacy and urges sellers to avoid requesting personal information.

With the increasing number of scams through unsolicited phone calls and text messages, consumer privacy has become a major concern.

To address this issue, the Consumer Affairs Ministry has stepped in to safeguard consumers from potential misuse of their personal contact details.

Secretary Singh has pointed out the unfair and restrictive trade practices involved in demanding personal information, highlighting the lack of justification for such requests.

The advisory from the Consumer Affairs Ministry addresses the concerns raised by consumers who have faced challenges when sellers demand their contact details before providing services.

Singh emphasised that this practice violates the Consumer Protection Act and raises privacy concerns.

To ensure widespread awareness, the advisory has been shared with industry chambers and retail associations, including the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce & Industry (FICCI) and the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII).

Singh highlighted that Indian consumers do not need to provide their phone numbers to retailers for availing services or generating bills.

Many consumers have faced discomfort when retailers insist on obtaining their mobile numbers without offering alternatives.

The advisory reminds retailers of their duty to safeguard consumer rights and privacy.

By refraining from demanding personal contact details, retailers can create a more transparent and consumer-friendly business environment.