MUMBAI, 12 JANUARY, 2019 (GPN) :
QNET, a leading multinational company in the e-commerce direct selling space has come under scanner by the authorities in the last few days. With over 60 arrests being made various questions are being raised by the Commissioner of Police in Cyberabad.
The company has now however issued a statement expressing disappointment over the police action. QNET in India operates through its sub-franchisee Vihaan Direct Selling (India) Pvt. Ltd.
Mr. Russel Stamets, Legal Advisor to Vihaan Direct Selling (India) Pvt Ltd in a statement said, “We are disappointed to know of the arrests of our Independent Representatives (IRs) which have taken place in Hyderabad.”
He added that “The action goes entirely against the Stay granted to Vihaan Direct Selling (India) Pvt Ltd by the Supreme Court in March 2017 and the requirement that all States first ensure their compliance with the Direct Selling Guidelines issued by Ministry of Consumer Affairs in September 2016, to which Telangana is no exception.”
According to the company officials, Vihaan Direct Selling is in full compliance of the direct selling guidelines issued by both Telangana and Andhra Pradesh. In the past, various courts from the State of Karnataka have passed orders quashing complaints against Vihaan and stating that the ‘QNet business is not a Ponzi scheme’.
Expressing surprise by the conduct of authorities in Hyderabad, he said that “Such actions which undermine what the Court(s) have ordered and damages inevitably the brand image of the company.”
Terming the acts/conduct as “harassment” he added that, “in Hyderabad certain consumer complaints date back to October 2018, and well after the 30-day refund period has passed. The company has commenced internal investigation and taken all necessary action in this regard.
The company has a grievance redressal mechanism to address any complaint for any products bought from it. This also has to comply with the requirements of the terms of purchase and in law by complaints/returns being made within a 30-day buy-back period as stipulated by the model Guidelines. Any consumer is expected to directly approach the company for a resolution of his grievance.”
As per the Direct Selling Guidelines which have been adapted by the state, Consumer grievances ought to be treated under The Consumer law and not as wrongful criminal action resulting in arrests.
In the direct selling industry, the Independent representatives (IRs) are not officers or employees of the company. The companies operating in Direct Selling have policies and procedures which they are supposed to adhere to. ENDS