In a sign of growing consumer awareness and improvement in the grievance redressal mechanism, the national
consumer helpline received its highest ever number of plaints - 173,000 - in 2015-16 since its inception in 2005-06. This was 23 per cent more than the previous year's.
An analyses of the complaints received shows 83 per cent of them have come from 10 major states and Union territories, with Delhi topping the list with 16 per cent share during January-June 2016.
Around 82% of complaints registered is from 10 states
E-commerce is among the top sectors getting maximum complaints from consumers
Centre planning to expand the number of desks handling consumer complaints to 60
A mobile application might also be developed, where direct complaints can be made
Complaints from big states like Bihar, Gujarat and Madhya Pradesh, are less than five per cent of the total plaints received.
Majority of the complaints were related to products and e-commerce companies. According to officials, there has been a sharp surge in complaints regarding e-commerce companies from eight per cent a few years ago to 17 per cent in the first six months of FY17.
Officials said complaints regarding e-commerce companies were growing manifold. These are usually addressed within seven to 10 working days.
Considering the sector is poised to grow quickly in the next few years and there is growing need for quick redressal of grievances, the consumer affairs ministry has decided to raise the number of desks to man consumer complaints to 60 from 11 now.
The ministry is also planning to develop a cloud-based customer relations software, which will integrate all consumer grievance handling activities.
A web/mobile chat app is also being developed and there are plans to open six zonal help lines in Ahmedabad, Bengaluru, Guwahati, Kolkata, Patna and Jaipur. These would help in further addressing the grievances of all consumers at the local level itself.
Recently, Consumer Affairs Minister Ramvilas Paswan told a meeting of Parliamentarians the consumer helpline would be made more efficient in the coming months.