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DAILY NEWS ANALYSIS

  • 29 November, 2022

  • 6 Min Read

Norms to Prevent False Online Reviews

Norms to Prevent False Online Reviews

  • The Department of Consumer Affairs recently announced new regulations to protect consumers from "false and misleading reviews."
  • It is part of the Bureau of Indian Standards norms, which will go into effect on November 25.

Important Guidelines:

  • E-commerce platforms will be required to voluntarily disclose paid customer reviews of products and services.
  • The e-commerce company or restaurant must create a code of conduct, as well as the necessary terms and conditions for accessibility, and ensure that the content does not contain financial information.
  • Identity: Reviews should not be misleading, and reviewers' identities should not be revealed without their permission.

Purchased evaluation:

  • If a review is purchased or you are rewarding the person for writing the review, it must be clearly labelled as such.

Application:

  • IS 19000:2022, the standard, will apply to all organisations that publish consumer reviews online. These will include product and service suppliers who collect customer feedback, third parties contracted by suppliers, and independent third parties.

The BIS distinguishes between solicited and unsolicited reviews:

  • The person in charge of overseeing the review in any organisation is referred to as the review administrator.
  • Solicited reviews are those that are requested by the supplier or review administrator.

Time frame:

  • If a product receives a rating of 4-5 stars, the organisation must specify when the data was collected and whether an average was calculated.

The requirement for such a regulation:

  • Online reviews play an important role in purchasing decisions, and consumers rely heavily on reviews posted on e-commerce platforms to see the opinion and experiences of users who have already purchased the good or service.

The move's significance:

  • Increased transparency: The new online review guidelines are intended to increase transparency for both consumers and brands while also promoting information accuracy.
  • Consumer protection: Regulations aim to protect consumers from fake and misleading reviews.
  • Building Trust: Because e-commerce involves a virtual shopping experience with no opportunity to physically view or examine the product, genuine, authentic, and trustworthy reviews are essential.
  • Penalty: If they engage in unfair trade practises, the Central Consumer Protection Authority (CCPA) or a consumer court may take penal action under the provisions of the Consumer Protection Act. The CCPA usually treats such cases as a "class," while the consumer commission treats them as individual cases.

Way Forward

  • The government will first establish a voluntary compliance mechanism, and if the threat persists, it will make it mandatory.
  • Some countries make rules, and some make legal provisions, but India is the first to create a standard.

About Bureau of Indian Standards

  • It is India's National Standard Body. Since 2017, the Bureau of Indian Standards Act, 2016, has been in effect.
  • It is in charge of the smooth development of standardization, marking, and quality certification of goods, as well as matters related to or incidental to these activities.
  • BIS is headquartered in New Delhi. It operates five Regional Offices (ROs) in Kolkata (Eastern), Chennai (Southern), Mumbai (Western), Chandigarh (Northern), and Delhi (Central).
  • Apart from benefiting consumers and industry, the BIS standards and certification scheme also supports various public policies, particularly in the areas of product safety, consumer protection, food safety, environmental protection, building and construction, and so on.

READ ALSO: E-commerce rules in India

Source: The Financial Express


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