Disgruntled customers also demonstrates in front of National Press Club
Consumers of troubled e-commerce platform E-orange have lodged a case against its owners with the Gulshan Police Station in the capital on Monday night.
Fearing the owners of the company will flee the country, they sued the owners, while also continuing with their protests in front of National Press Club in the capital on Tuesday.
As per the case statement, previous owner Sonia Mehjabin, her husband Masukur Rahman, Amanullah, Bithi Akhter, and Kawser have been accused of embezzling Tk1,100 crore.
According to the platform’s earlier posts, Bithi Akter was named the new owner of the company.
The platform’s website mentioned a post where it said that “Eorange.shop, is a proprietorship concern of Bithi Akter.”
The consumers also sought the prime minister’s intervention into the matter, during Tuesday's protest.
“When we buy bikes from showrooms, we provide money and get it instantly, but here we are waiting for several months now and not getting our products, despite buying vouchers and whatnot,” said a protesting consumer.
Another consumer only demanded a refund stating: “I do not need my bike, just give me my money back.”
The protesters have also sought the intervention of the National Consumer Rights Protection Agency, e-CAB, ICT Ministry, and the commerce ministry in safeguarding Digital Bangladesh.
Consumers also took to social media voicing concerns.
One customer, Prosanto Kumar wrote in a Facebook post: “It was Mashrafe Bin Mortaza’s ads that got people to trust e-orange, otherwise a lot of people would not have bought from this platform.”
Kazi Nazrul Islam, another customer, wrote in a post tagging the official page of the former Bangladeshi cricket captain: “Sir, we follow you. You asked us to trust the brand and based on that we had ordered from e-orange. What will happen to our money?”
Consumers of E-orange hold a banner in front of the National Press Club in Dhaka during a human chain on August 17, 2021. Photo: Collected
Consumers gathered in front of Mashrafee’s house in Mirpur on Monday, voicing concerns and asking him to help them in reaching out to relevant authorities, to which he agreed.
Earlier in June, Mashrafe stated from his verified Facebook page that last April, he got involved with an organization named SPC Group.
“I had an agreement of being the brand ambassador of the platform on the condition that they will undertake social development projects. In return, they would install 100 high-quality CCTV cameras in Narail. But I came to know the business structure that I was told about is not exactly like that,” he added.
On Monday, E-orange announced on its official Facebook page that its contract with Mashrafe had ended in July and the shop apologized for using his pictures in promotional materials even after the end of the agreement.
“He [Mashrafe] is not aware of any official matters of E-orange and cannot give any updates,” the post reads, adding: “We apologize to those who have ordered products from us but have not received those yet. We hope to resolve these problems soon and deliver the products to you. Since Mashrafe Bin Mortaza is no longer in a contract with us, we request everyone to refrain from contacting him regarding these matters.”
According to sources, one of the owners is an OC of Banani police stations, and consumers were scared to file a case. However, on Mashrafee’s reference, a case was filed with the Gulshan police station, according to one consumer.
E-orange further added in the post that they will begin delivering all pending orders — except motorcycles, for which customers will be refunded in phases — from August 19.
In another post on its Facebook page, the e-commerce platform said that an internal audit found some of the motorcycle suppliers had swindled large sums of money from customers but had not delivered the products.
“Therefore, legal action has been taken against the motorcycle suppliers including cancellation of E-orange’s contracts with them,” it added.
Last Wednesday police had to be called in to diffuse tensions during a protest in front of E-orange’s Gulshan office, which stemmed from a post on Facebook where the platform announced a change in ownership.