The Consumer Affairs Ministry has issued an advisory directing retailers not to insist on the personal contact details of customers for delivering certain services, Consumer Affairs Secretary Rohit Kumar Singh said on Tuesday.
The advisory has been issued following several consumer complaints. Customers have complained about many retailers not providing them services if they refuse to share their contact number, he said.
"Sellers say they cannot generate the bill until personal contact details are provided. This is an unfair and restrictive trade practice under the Consumer Protection Act and there is no rationality behind collecting the information," the Secretary told reporters.
There is also a privacy concern. Therefore, an advisory has been issued to the retail industry and industry chambers CII and FICCI to address this issue in the interest of consumers, he said.
It is not mandatory in India for customers to furnish their mobile numbers to a retailer to generate a bill. However, customers are put in an awkward situation by retailers insisting on a number to conclude transactions. Most of the time, customers are not given an option to opt out in many of these situations.
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