Govt Will Investigate Ola, Uber As Complaints Surge: Unfair Cancellation Charges, No AC, Rude Behavior & More
Two of India’s biggest ride-hailing apps Ola and Uber are under fire over alleged unfair practices and mounting user complaints.
Issues brought up by the consumer affairs ministry include:
- Lack of proper response from customer support
- Pre ticked boxes including add on services without customer’s awareness
- Driver insisting on cash payment
- Driver refusing to turn on AC
- No customer care number on platform
- No details of grievance officer
- No prior info on time within which one can cancel ride
- Inconsistent cancelation charges
- Cancelation charge not prominently displayed on app
Customers Suffer For Drivers’ Woes
Cab drivers refuse to switch on the AC during the sweltering heat, citing fuel price hikes and high commissions.
Drivers in West Bengal, New Delhi, Noida and Telangana, Bengaluru are guilty of this, who use the ‘no AC’ policy as a means of protest against soaring fuel prices and commissions.
The commission they have to pay the aggregators per ride is reportedly about 30%.
Lying To Customers
Many users have reported instances in which drivers demand extra fare for switching on the AC or refuse to switch it, citing COVID rules.
Other drivers say that AC is included only in the Prime and sedan bookings.
The government rebuked the aggregators regarding alleged unfair trade practices and warned them of strict action if they don’t address it.
Randomly Canceling Rides
Government officials held a meeting with representatives of the companies including Meru, Rapido and Jugnu.
Issues discussed include ride cancellation policy in which drivers force customers to cancel trips despite accepting it.
Consumers end up paying hefty fines as a result.
Differential Rates For Old And New Users
Another accusation is that they charge high rates to existing customers while charging lower amounts to lure new users for the same distance.
The charges to go from point A to point B are thereby different for two different people.
Central Consumer Protection Authority (CCPA) chief commissioner Nidhi Khare said that the apps use algorithms to attract new customers, putting old customers at a disadvantage
The watchdog has asked such apps to demonstrate their algorithms and other policies adopted for operating as cab aggregators in the country.