Friday, July 12, 2024

CAIT files complaint with consumer body over mobile phone deal advertisement

After objecting to an advertisement by e-commerce giant Flipkart, featuring veteran actor Amitabh Bachchan last week, the Confederation of All India Traders on Tuesday (CAIT) filed a complaint with Central Consumer Protection Authority (CCPA) of the consumer affairs ministry.

CAIT in its complaint has said that Flipkart be penalised (as per section 89 of the CPA), for false or misleading advertisement with imprisonment for a term of two years and a fine of Rs 10 lakh and Bachchan too should be fined Rs 10 lakh as per section 89 of the Act.

In the complaint to the CCPA, CAIT further said that as per the definition under Section 2(47), Flipkart, acting through Amitabh Bachchan (endorser), has misled the public regarding the price at which mobile phones are being made available by sellers/suppliers in the smartphone market of India (relevant market).

This, they added, has the effect of disparaging the goods, services or trade of another person.

“Further, as per rule 4 of the Guidelines for Prevention of Misleading Advertisements and Endorsements for Misleading Advertisements, 2022, the advertisement by Flipkart is misleading because it doesn’t contain truthful and honest representation and is wholly incorrect, malicious, misleading and manipulative,” CAIT said in a statement.

The traders body has also urged CCPA to direct Flipkart to suspend the advertisement to avoid further damage to offline retailers ahead of the festive season.

Last week, CAIT and offline smartphone retailers had called out the advertisement where Bachchan was promoting Flipkart’s upcoming Big Billion Day sale, telling consumers that deals on mobiles won’t be available offline at retail stores.

The Big Billion Days sale is scheduled to take place from October 8-15.

CAIT, in a letter, called for the advertisement to be withdrawn, stating this unfairly impacts the livelihood of shopkeepers and misleads consumers on the other hand.

“If this concern is not addressed, we will be left with no choice but to seek intervention from the Ministry of Information,” the letter dated September 29 had stated.

On the other hand, the All India Mobile Retailers Association (AIMRA), had also written to most smartphone brands to take up the issue and publicly clarify that the claims made in Flipkart’s advertisement are not true.

“The CAIT demand has come under Section 2 (47) of the Consumer Protection Act which deals with unfair trade practices, misleading advertisements & false and misleading facts,” the traders’ body’s statement issued on Tuesday said.

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