You don’t have to share your mobile number with a shopkeeper after a purchase.

Government has issued an advisory after several consumers complained that sellers refuse to provide services unless the consumers share their contact details.

Amidst increasing reports of scams being carried out through phone calls and text messages, the Consumer Affairs Ministry on Tuesday issued an advisory asking retailers to not insist on buyers’ personal contact details for delivering certain products, said Consumer Affairs Secretary Rohit Kumar Singh.

The advisory comes after several consumers complained that sellers refuse to provide services unless the consumers share their contact details.

Singh told media, “Sellers say they cannot generate the bill until personal contact details are provided. This is an unfair and restrictive trade practice under the Consumer Protection Act and there is no rationality behind collecting the information.”

Saying that there was a privacy concern too, Singh said that an advisory was issued in the interest of consumers to the retail industry and industry chambers including — Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce & Industry (FICCI) and Confederation of Indian Industry (CII).

Singh added that it wasn’t necessary in India to provide phone numbers to retailers in order have something delivered or generate a bill. However, he added, that consumers are often put in an awkward situation when retailers seek mobile numbers to conclude a transaction and the consumers are not given a way out.

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