Ecommerce businesses need to reimburse their customers

We are concerned about the government’s handling of the issue of e-commerce scams. Its efforts are mainly limited to preventing possible inconvenience in the future, when tens of thousands of customers and traders have yet to secure compensation from the government. So far, we have not seen any visible government initiative to recover money from e-commerce companies to reimburse victims. While the Commerce Department says there is little scope for them to get the money back under our law, according to legal experts the department can form a board or appoint directors to run the stray businesses that will work. to refund money to customers and sellers.

The Ministry of Commerce has reportedly formed three committees and issued standard operating procedures with the aim of stopping future fraudulent activities of e-commerce platforms and protecting the interests of consumers and traders. The question is: will this be enough? Shouldn’t the government come up with specific plans to recover the funds either?

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The government reportedly intends to assign agencies such as the National Board of Revenue and the Bangladesh Bank to find ways to recover the money from these fraudulent e-commerce companies. We believe that the sooner they do this, the better it will be for victims, especially since delayed action may not stem the threat of money laundering abroad.

Recently, the National Directorate for the Protection of Consumer Rights (DNCRP) fined 17 e-commerce companies for not delivering products as promised and also for deceiving customers with fake ads. Unfortunately, they couldn’t impose fines on big companies like Evaly, E-orange and Dhamaka Shopping due to certain limitations in our law – the DNCRP can impose a maximum fine of Tk 50,000 and jail offenders for a year. maximum, or both. And that meager amount of fine or jail is just not enough for these big fraudulent companies. It is therefore urgent to make changes to the law.

Some of the consumers are said to have filed complaints against Evaly, E-orange and other companies and are waiting for the court directive to get their lost money back. While the court will render its decision in due course, the government should also focus more on recovering the money so that consumers and traders can be adequately compensated. Recovering money may still be possible by tracking transactions from consumers and merchants to e-commerce companies, experts say. The government should consider doing this.

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