Consumer Protection Authority Issues Notice To Uber, Ola Over 3200 Complaints In 30 Days: Check Top Complaints

According to its data, Ola had a larger share of complaints than Uber.

The Central Consumer Protection Authority (CCPA) has issued notices to Ola and Uber for unfair trade practices and violation of consumer rights.

Anti-Consumer Practices

The authority was acting on mounting complaints regarding:

  • Lack of proper consumer-grievance redressal mechanism
  • Deficiency in service
  • Unreasonable levy of cancellation charges 
  • Issues related to the fairness of algorithms used to charge fares

According to its data, Ola had a larger share of complaints than Uber.

As per the data from the National Consumer Helpline (NCH), from 01.04.2021 to 01.05.2022, 2,482 grievances were registered by consumers against Ola and 770 against Uber.

Absence Of Grievance Redressal Mechanisms

The CCPA’s main focus was on the inadequate consumer grievance redressal mechanisms, such as the absence of both “customer care numbers” and details of the “grievance officer”.

Both are statutory requirements.

Last week, the consumer affairs department had met with representatives of Ola, Uber, Rapido, Meru Cabs and Jugnoo.

It asked the companies to become partners in the National Consumer Helpline for quicker grievance redressal for consumers and also comply with provisions under the Consumer Protection Act, 2019 and e-commerce rules.

Differential Pricing

Yet another issue is the lack of any information on the algorithm used by such apps to charge different fares for the same route from two individuals.

It is alleged that they charge high rates to existing customers while charging lower amounts to lure new users for the same distance.

App-Specific Complaints

During the period of review, 1340 (54%) dockets were registered against Ola for “deficiency in services”.

521 (21%) complaints were related to “paid amount not refunded”.

Ola was also issued notices for unauthorised charges, overcharging and promised “gift not given”

Meanwhile, Uber saw 473 (61%) complaints related to a deficiency in services during the period, while 105 (14%) dockets related to “paid amount not refunded.”

Common Complaints

Other issues flagged by the 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

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