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Edtech customers face infra, refund issues; 96% seek regulation: Survey



A majority of people who opted for online classes offered by platforms have faced issues around infrastructure required for attending sessions, quality of teachers and refund of subscription fees, a survey report released on Tuesday said.

Online platform Localcircles in its survey found that 69 per cent of such customers have faced issues.

The survey was conducted across 323 districts between April 1 and May 31, 2022 and received 27,000 responses.

“Sixty-nine per cent of those who have taken online coaching/learning classes have faced issues. The question in the survey asked citizens about the kind of issues they or their family members have faced with online coaching/learning classes via platforms.

“In response, 9 per cent of citizens said they have faced infrastructure issues, 19 per cent said they have issues with the ‘teaching staff effectiveness issues’, and 10 per cent had ‘refund issues’,” the survey report said.

It said 17 per cent faced all three issues, 11 per cent members said that they or their family faced both infrastructure and teaching staff effectiveness issues and 2 per cent faced infrastructure as well as refund issues, while 31 per cent respondent had no issue.

Ninty-six per cent of those who have taken coaching or learning classes want the government to make it mandatory for those selling coaching/learning packages or subscriptions to disclose cancellation and refunds policy to every customer and upload on their websites and apps, the report said .

“Consumers have reported that certain platforms are indulging in predatory marketing practices and unethical conduct, which include auto-debiting course fees from parents despite parents stating their wish to discontinue the course. This led to the government issuing a warning against such practices of some edtech platforms while mulling a common policy to regulate the industry last year,” it said.

Some of the edtech firms have formed an industry body to self-regulate — India EdTech Consortium (IEC) under the umbrella of the industry body Internet and Mobile Association of India (IAMAI).

The break-up shared in the report shows that 66 per cent of the edtech sector to be governed by a government code and 30 per cent agreed to the view that the edtech platforms should be governed by industry or a voluntary code.

(Only the headline and picture of this report may have been reworked by the Business Standard staff; the rest of the content is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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