The Central Consumer Protection Authority (CCPA), India's consumer protection regulator, on Friday said it has issued notices to cab aggregators Ola and Uber for violation of consumer rights and unfair trade practices.
As per the data from the National Consumer Helpline (NCH), 2,482 grievances were registered by consumers against Ola and 770 grievances were registered against Uber between 1st April 2021 and 1st May 2022.
Last week, the Department in a meeting with ride-hailing companies Ola, Uber, Rapido, Meru Cabs and Jugnoo directed them to become convergence partners in the National Consumer Helpline, to enable better grievance redressal for consumers and also comply with Consumer Protection Act, 2019 and E-commerce Rules, the Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution said in a statement.
The primary issues raised in the notices include a lack of proper consumer grievance redressal mechanism, deficiency in service, and unreasonable levy of cancellation charges among others.
The authority has raised the issue of deficiency in service which includes lack of proper response from customer support, driver refusing to take payment by online mode and insisting for cash only, the higher amount charged despite going on the same route previously at a lesser charge, unprofessional driver behaviour and driver refusing to switch on AC when the consumer is promised AC ride on the app.
It has also raised the issue of an unreasonable levy of cancellation charges wherein users are not shown the amount of time within which cancelling a ride is permitted. The amount of cancellation charge is not displayed prominently on the platform before booking the ride. Undue cancellation charges are borne by users when they are forced to cancel the ride due to the unwillingness of the driver to accept the ride or come to the pick-up location
The other issues include inadequate consumer grievance redressal mechanism in absence of both customer care number and details of grievance officer as required to be mentioned on the platform and lack of any information on the algorithm or method used by the company to charge different fares for the same route from two individuals, and inclusion of charges for add-on services by pre-ticked boxes for including add-on services without obtaining consent by explicit and affirmative action before each ride. (ANI)