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.


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