Dhaka: The Tele Consumers Association of Bangladesh (T-CAB) has demanded an immediate refund of Tk 214 crore collected in advance from e-commerce company Evaly’s customers for the supply of goods in accordance with the ‘Digital Commerce Management Guidelines – 2021’.
T-CAB convenor Murshidul Haque said that the Gazette was published on July 4 by the Ministry of Commerce’s WTO Cell, which formulated the 2020 revised Digital Commerce Management Guidelines and the 2021 National Digital Commerce Policy to ensure transparency, accountability, consumer confidence, and consumer rights in the management of digital commerce.
Citing section 3.3.2 of the Digital Commerce Management Guideline-2021 he states that ‘Goods must be delivered within five days of receipt of purchase if the buyer-seller is located in the same city, or within ten days if the buyer-seller is located in a different town or village.
However, we can see that thousands of orders from customers across the country, including Dhaka, have been abandoned by various e-commerce companies, including Evaly, for months, he stated.
After waiting 1-6 months, the customer does not receive the product or money back. Even after hours of waiting in the offices of the accused organisations, no results are discovered. However, under the Digital Commerce Management Guideline 2021, businesses are required to refund customers within ten days of receiving the products or money.
He added that, according to a recent Commerce Ministry report, Bangladesh Bank (BB) received a liability of Tk407.18 crore from Evaly, Tk213.94 crore from advance customers, and Tk189.85 crore from merchants.
The company is required to have a minimum of Tk. 403.80 crore in working assets under normal circumstances, but it only has Tk. 65.17 crore.
Customers are concerned about the money they have paid in advance in this situation. Evaly’s leadership, including managing director Mohammed Russell, has repeatedly attempted to mislead the public by claiming that Evaly will become a for-profit organisation within the next two months.
However, they have provided no satisfactory response to the money laundering allegation. Evaly’s liability to customers and merchants is likely to be even greater.
According to the convener of the consumer protection body, the Corona epidemic has devastated the lives of ordinary people across the country over the last year. In this case, utilising technology to purchase products via an online platform has discovered numerous benefits.
The general public’s confidence in e-commerce businesses has also significantly increased. In this situation, if a crisis of confidence occurs among customers as a result of one or two organisations, it will have a detrimental effect on the country’s economy as a whole.