Do shop owners or cashiers often ask for your mobile number when you make a purchase? Well, good news! The government has recently issued a new directive addressing consumer complaints about sellers demanding contact numbers in order to provide services. You no longer need to enter your personal number.
This decision comes in response to increasing reports of scams involving phone calls and text messages. The Ministry of Consumer Affairs has instructed retailers not to ask customers for their personal numbers when issuing products. Consumer Affairs Secretary, Rohit Kumar Singh, clarified this directive.
Numerous complaints have emerged regarding merchants refusing to offer services unless customers provide a contact number. Sellers argue that without a personal contact number, they cannot generate a bill. However, this practice goes against the Consumer Protection Act and is considered an unfair trade practice. There is no valid reason for collecting customer information, as these numbers are often used for promotional and sales purposes by the companies.
This move has raised concerns about privacy. The Consumer Affairs Secretary emphasized that the Chambers of Industry have also been advised to prioritize consumer interests. Instructions have been given to the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry, as well as the Confederation of Indian Industry.
According to the Ministry of Consumer Affairs, customers no longer need to provide their phone numbers to retailers for the delivery of goods or the generation of bills. This change aims to alleviate the inconvenience faced by other customers when disputes arise during transactions that require mobile numbers.