Ministry of Consumer Affairs has engaged Gupshup, the conversational engagement platform, and WhatsApp to announce the launch of a chatbot for filing consumer complaints.
The Department of Consumer Affairs organised the celebrations on World Consumer Day i.e. March 15, 2023. The occasion saw the presence of Union Minister Piyush Goyal, and Ashwani Kumar Choubey, MoS, Ministry of Consumer Affairs.
The chatbot was launched demonstrating the government's commitment towards safeguarding consumer rights, and needs. By sending a message to 8800001915, consumers can 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 Union Minister while addressing the occasion emphasised 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 centre. 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 grievance and finally document upload to complete the submission process. Consumers can track the status of their complaint through a similar process in WhatsApp.
Earlier, consumers were required to call on the National Consumer Helpline (NCH), visit the NCH app or login to the consumer helpline portal to register a complaint.
The chatbot will also be available 24/7, allowing citizens to file complaints at any time of the day.
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.