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Before buying, check on shop online

The other day a reader complained about being defrauded by an online shop. A phone he had bought turned out to be a cheap Chinese one and not the product shown. “They are not refunding my money,” he said, reports Pushpa Girimaji.

delhi Updated: Apr 25, 2010 01:11 IST

The other day a reader complained about being defrauded by an online shop. A phone he had bought turned out to be a cheap Chinese one and not the product shown. “They are not refunding my money,” he said.

A Google search for the online store turned up dozens of complaints against the online shop. Most complaints were of a similar nature—the product sold was not the one showed on the website. In most cases, consumers were trying in vain to get their money back.

My point is: If you buy goods or services, always check on the internet about the company.

I must mention a few useful websites. The Better Business Bureau sites of North America, for example, can give you their evaluation of businesses. This helps if you buy products manufactured by MNCs. Other useful sites would be the United States National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and the European Commission’s RAPEX, which puts out a list of unsafe products withdrawn from the EU markets. The Union Ministry of Consumer Affairs-supported Consumer Online Resource and Empowerment Centre is another site that puts up a list of businesses not consumer-friendly. It gives the number and kind of complaints against each listed brand.

Adil Dhar: I purchased a Dual phone from an online portal. After two days, I got a mail that my order was cancelled due to non-availability and my money would be refunded in 15 days. I’ve still not got my money.

Try and get together with other consumers defrauded by this shop. You can file a class action suit (a common complaint on behalf) in the consumer court. Through a common order, you can get back the money and cost of litigation.