To protect Consumers rendered vulnerable in the wake of rapidly-developing digital technology.

SoftSettle Support

Traditional  dispute  resolution  mechanisms  create  challenges  and  difficulties  for  an  aggrieved  consumer  to  enforce  the  guaranteed  consumer  rights.   For  the  case  to  be  taken  up  for  consideration  in  the  consumer  forum  or  civil  court,  the  claimant/consumer should have to establish the case where there are various factors the adjudicative authorities will look at  which  includes:  personal  identity  of  the  respondent;  possibility  of  bringing  the  respondent/second  party  into  the  adversarial  process;  proof  of  evidence  related  to  the  claim;  etc.  One  of  the  major  difficulties  at  the  first  instance  is  to  engage  or  seek  attorney/legal  advice  to  know  the  procedural  rules  as  how  to  approach  the  redressal  authorities  seeking  remedies. Then so on. Okay these may be the challenges in the traditional dispute resolution mechanism being applied in India till the Consumer Protection Act.2019 got introduced. Accordingly new rules were framed in order to protect the online consumers too.

A typical incidence reflecting the emotions and mental strains of a professional photographer who was forced to face such situation has to be briefly conveyed to you. He received a mobile handset he had ordered online at a discount of Rs. 500, he realized it was a refurbished product. The fact it was refurbished had not been stated in a clear, readable manner in the description and he had missed the fine print. After trying to have telephonic contacts with the online provider for months which he ultimately failed, finally gave up the efforts and decided to keep the phone, left with no choice. This person represents the online consumers who have been always at the receiving end and used to get embittered in the hands of the online traders.

Although the Internet is a convenient platform to conduct commercial transactions, consumers are disadvantaged in the online marketplace due to insufficient information about goods and services as well as business and transaction process, lack of access to redress and several other problems. The number of complaints regarding online transactions increased in India and the number of Internet-fraud related complaints reported to Consumer Coordination Council, Consumer-Court and Consumer Redressal Forum under Consumer Protection Act 1986 were also increased. This, in turn, has undermined consumer trust and impeded the growth of e-retailing as well as added to the fear among e-consumers of falling prey to online fraud. In spite of this, the nature and effectiveness of e-consumer protection has not been adequately studied, notwithstanding extensive research into other aspects of e-retailing.

Hope the new revolutionized reforms in the Consumer Protection Act 2019 and the rules framed accordingly could handle such issues competently so as to redress the grievances of online consumers. But there may be apprehensions to the effect of efficient implementation of the amended Act.

In the new era of technology, innovativeness in technology is bursting into the legal domain. For an expedited and inexpensive resolution of disputes, the new Act and legal courts in India and in various other jurisdictions have ventured into the technological advancements. The Act and Rules are also the instances of such effort. But the technicalities to be implemented as the result of this legislation calls for a fast-growing expertise taking into consideration the current business demands.

Though the new resolution mechanism gets initiated through a portal, the ultimate decision rests with the Consumers’ forum. If at all the an early decision taken as a result of the complaints filed in the portal, it would be fine. But the consumer forum is bound by procedural rules and due process of law  should  be  exercised  to  resolve  the  matter  which  is  time  consuming  to  achieve  the  final  outcome.

The introduction of a new platform under the brand of Soft Settle which deals the resolution in minutes or hours maximum, can let the people have an easy access to justice without any fees or any court syndromes.

As the cyber presence of the commercial disputes is cropping up without any breaks use of e-courts paving way for e-commerce disputes resolution has become a necessity in all senses. The first and second segment of the project under the banner of Gateway to Equity & Justice ( and ( providing ODR policies and frame work, facilitating E-commerce players from getting assaulted.

Soft Settle is not intending to compete with official dispute resolution mechanism. SoftSettle always prays for such laws to come and save the online shoppers. But SoftSettle has a different perspective with regard to the resolution feature. It encourages harmony which could build a bondage between trader and consumer. Further it tends to bring pleasant ambiance in the society so far as the party which does wrong could be rectified so as to eliminate the negative reviews in future and consumer found his favourite retailer always close to him supplying quality products against his orders.



The Time Bound Grievance Redressal against E-Commerce Issues

SoftSettle Support

Consumer Protection (E-commerce) Rules, 2020, which fall under the Consumer Protection Act.2019, endorses setting up a robust consumer redressal mechanism.

The e-commerce platforms also have to acknowledge the receipt of any consumer complaint within forty-eight hours and redress the complaint within one month from the date of receipt under this Act. And will also have to appoint a grievance officer for consumer grievance redressal.

As per the rules, sellers cannot refuse to take back goods or withdraw services or refuse refunds, if such goods or services are defective, deficient, delivered late, or if they do not meet the description on the platform. The rules also prohibit the e-commerce companies from manipulating the price of the goods or services to gain unreasonable profit through unjustified prices.

The online consumers are much relieved and they have a robust consumer redressal mechanism against the e-commerce issues.

This mechanism has been already integrated in the digital platform Soft Settle and it provides a positive reach for the consumers to go ahead with simplified procedure as far as the case management is concerned along with the ADR process in the cyberspace. More over Soft Settle does not compromise in admitting court syndromes in adopting the online platform so far as it is purely DIY platform with adequate consumer services.

The statutory phenomena definitely takes the consumer protection to a level beyond its concept of the traditional court procedure. But still some distresses shall undergo changes and Soft Settle is an alternative online platform which eliminates such flaws detectable in the grievance mechanism statutorily promoted.

The Soft Settle platform provides the simplest online consumer dispute resolution environment. With innovative features, such as representations, list of dispute issues and possible redress, escalation over to a different online platform Mediator Affair, limited need for written texts, direct negotiation tool between the parties etc. The Soft Settle platform cooperates with professional associations, e-commerce and consumer associations and is on the way to be used by companies, consumers and online dispute resolution bodies worldwide.

Further while appreciating the statutory prospects of the consumer protection, Soft Settle assures a harmonization to promote justice, unlike the court, by functioning as a smart choice for consumers as well as businesses in dealing with each other while confronting the disputes to have their share of win-win configuration. Hence both of them can advance their relationship stimulating the consumers to purchase more goods from the same business with upgraded qualities which the trader or business never compromises as they have won the loyalty of their customer and while they may be subjected to negative remarks from the part of the consumer segment.

Soft Settle is being designed in such a way so as to be truly user-friendly and easy for both consumers and retailers from different parts of the world. The application will guide you through the whole process and present you with a number of options to resolve the issue. Plus, our Consumer Service Team is here to help you.

Trends and Challenges in E-Commerce Dispute Resolution

Adv. Rajesh, Chief Coordinator, SoftSettle Support

E-commerce has become a busting business in India today. It is the cutting edge in all areas of business today. E-commerce has indeed emerged as a major opportunity for India. With the phenomenal spread of mobile telephony and the advent of 4G in the country, buyers from small towns and cities are also buying online in large numbers. It is a fact that internet has dissolved the discrimination factor between the small and the big cities enabling buyers from small towns to have access to the same branded goods, and quality products which earlier was a privilege of large city buyers.

The most significant reason for lack of consumer confidence in electronic transactions lies in anonymity of parties to the consumer contract. Statutory law now makes clear that a contract cannot be denied enforcement solely because it is in electronic form or signed electronically. Still there are certain legal issues supposed to take place in a digital contract i.e. the technology contracts are required to fulfil certain conditions to be legally enforceable. They are as follows:

Authenticity: The contracting parties must be identified to give authenticity to the technology contract. The parties shall be saved from any kind of misrepresentation as a form of fraud. Any sort of fraud would be a mark on the genuineness of the terms of the contract and the other party completing its obligations as per the contract.

Offer: One party proposing an offer to enter into a contract with its own sets of terms and conditions accompanying the agreement. The other party has the option to accept the offer or decline on non-compliance with the terms and conditions.

Writing & Signature: Every contract should include a signed digital signature along with the terms and conditions as the indication of acceptance by the other party.

Confidentiality: In a technology contract with e-commerce websites or any other company for that matter are under an obligation to maintain the confidentiality of its consumers. If in any case, they leak the sensitive data then they will be subjected to legal implications.

Disputes within Cyberspace transactions (with regard to technology contract):

It has been a revolution in the field of cyberspace with the introduction of a separate statute for Information Technology. This is an initiation of a generation of techno-friendly legal aspects to ease the workload of the legal professionals as well the companies that have adopted technology contracts as modes of conducting businesses.

It is not a free-flowing field with its own disputes which need to be enumerated in order to be settled in coming times. These disputes are legal in nature and have to be sorted with legal procedure. These loopholes cannot be ignored as they impair the very foundation of the legal framework.

The environment promoting a scenario where the interaction between and among the characters has to be evaluated. It is understandable with the scope of cyber law to reach out to every individual across the globe at an instant without any boundary barriers, the possibility of physical interaction of each contractual party is almost impossible.

Soft Settle discovered certain methods to mitigate the disputes with the case management procedure and negotiating tactics so as to resolve most the disputes in minutes or hours, but invite the constant efforts from the contracting parties to come up with a commitment to put these solutions into proper practice.