Ministry of Consumer Affairs, India’s government office that deals with consumer issues together with Gupshup, the leading conversational engagement platform, and WhatsApp announced the launch of a chatbot for filing consumer complaints. The Department of Consumer Affairs organised the celebrations on World Consumer Day i.e. 15th March 2023. The occasion was graced by the presence of Hon’ble Union Minister Shri Piyush Goyal Ji, and Sh. Ashwani Kumar Choubey ji, Hon’ble MoS, Ministry of Consumer Affairs.
The chatbot was launched to demonstrate the government’s commitment to safeguarding consumer rights, and needs. By sending a message to 8800001915, consumers can quickly and easily register complaints, check complaint status and read FAQs, all within WhatsApp. Consumers can also scan the QR code on NCH (National Consumer Helpline) website to enter the WhatsApp chat.
The Hon’ble Union Minister while addressing the occasion emphasized that if we all work with integrity we can make a safe environment for the consumers. He added that every initiative of the Central Government is focused on keeping the consumer at the center. According to him, the days of getting away with sub-standard goods are gone as today’s discerning consumers insist on buying products of good standards.
The chatbot, available in English and Hindi will take users through a step-by-step process of choosing the state, company name, nature of the grievance and finally document uploads to complete the submission process. Consumers can track the status of their complaints through a similar process in WhatsApp.
Earlier, consumers were required to call on the National Consumer Helpline (NCH), visit the NCH app or log in to the consumer helpline portal to register a complaint. But with WhatsApp, logging a complaint can be done in seconds. The user-friendly chatbot will also be available 24/7, allowing citizens to file complaints at any time of the day.
Smt Nidhi Khare, Additional Secretary, Department of Consumer Affairs said, “The launch of the WhatsApp chatbot for filing consumer complaints is a step forward in our efforts to empower consumers through awareness and education and underpins our efforts on consumer protection in India. We are committed to providing access to efficient query resolution and redressal mechanisms to consumers and the WhatsApp chatbot is a significant step in that direction”.
The NCH gets a wide variety of complaints from across sectors with the highest number of complaints coming from e-commerce, banking, telecom, and digital payment modes.
“We’re thrilled to partner with the ministry of consumer affairs to empower citizens to raise complaints right from WhatsApp in English or Hindi. This is a huge step towards giving the power in the hands of consumers to report and seek redressal,” said Beerud Sheth, Co-founder and CEO of Gupshup.
The Ministry of Consumer Affairs is committed to improving citizen services and providing consumers with a more streamlined and efficient way to submit complaints. By partnering with Gupshup, the Ministry of Consumer Affairs hopes to achieve these goals while also ensuring that all consumer complaints are promptly addressed.