Chief Minister Oommen Chandy told the media after a Cabinet meeting that direct selling companies which abided the law and did not cheat or fleece customers would be allowed to function. They should not function like money chains or resort to tax evasion. Compulsory subscription or insurance would not be permitted at any stage.
The Chief Minister said the offices of multi-level marketing companies closed following police action could reopen if they functioned according to the guidelines, which would be communicated to the police immediately. Cases against them would be withdrawn if their operations were within the parameters of the guidelines. Otherwise, they should change their mode of operation before restarting sales.
An official release said the guidelines specified that the consumer should have the right to get refunds if products found unsatisfactory were returned within 30 days. No product should be forced upon the sellers by the company and no membership fee collected.
Commissions paid to direct sellers should be in tune with the quantity sold. The consumer should get an opportunity to examine samples before buying. Companies would be required to provide full information on their products and sellers. Salesmen should have identity cards issued by a government agency and should take advance permission for selling in various areas. They should issue clear records of the sales to the customer.
Companies should be authorised to do business in India and should file all mandatory returns. They should have trademarks or licences. They should maintain a regularly updated website giving details of their products, services, price, and other details, besides information on their companies.