May 25, 2023

Retailers Can No Longer Ask for Mobile Numbers

In a move to protect consumer privacy and combat the increasing prevalence of online scams, the Ministry of Consumer Affairs has issued an advisory prohibiting shopkeepers from asking customers for mobile numbers before generating bills. This new government directive aims to address concerns raised by customers who have been subjected to persistent requests for personal contact details, hindering their right to fair and transparent transactions. 

Growing Concerns:

With the spread of online scams, revealing personal mobile numbers can potentially expose individuals to scammers operating through mobile phones and messaging platforms like WhatsApp. The government has taken a proactive step by recognizing the need to safeguard consumer privacy from digital vulnerabilities. By restricting the unwarranted collection of personal contact details, the Ministry of Consumer Affairs aims to protect consumers from becoming targets of fraudulent activities.

Unfair Trade Practices:

One of the primary motivations behind this advisory is to combat unfair trade practices employed by some retailers. Like the instances where customers were denied service or the issuance of a bill unless they provided their personal contact details. Such practices contravene the Consumer Protection Act and unfairly restrict consumers. Through this advisory, the government clarifies that there is no legitimate reason for retailers to collect this information.

Consumer Protection Act:

This new advisory aligns with the provisions of the Consumer Protection Act. Under this act, it is imperative for retailers to ensure transparency, fairness, and the protection of consumer privacy during transactions. By highlighting the unjust nature of demanding personal contact details, the Ministry of Consumer Affairs aims to foster a consumer-centric business environment that upholds the principles of the Consumer Protection Act.

Consumer Empowerment:

Through this advisory, the government aims to empower consumers and raise awareness about their rights. To make customers feel confident and secure when engaging in commercial transactions, without the fear of their personal information falling into the wrong hands. The advisory provides consumers with a stronger footing to assert their rights, ensuring that their privacy is respected and protected.


In conclusion, this recent government advisory prohibiting shopkeepers from demanding customers mobile numbers before generating bills marks a significant step towards safeguarding consumer privacy and combating online scams. With this directive, the Ministry of Consumer Affairs has taken a proactive step to protect consumers from unfair trade practices and promote transparency in commercial transactions. By raising awareness about consumer rights and emphasizing the significance of the Consumer Protection Act.


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