A district consumer court in Mumbai has found Uber India guilty of deficiency in services and will have to cough up Rs 20,000- Rs 10,000 for mental agony and Rs 10,000 as litigation cost to a Dombivli resident.
How it started
She missed her flight to Chennai as the Uber driver delayed her in various ways while traveling to the airport.
Kavita Sharma, an advocate, was to take a flight to Chennai on June 12, 2018 at 5.50 pm from Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport, Mumbai.
She booked an Uber cab at around 3.29 pm for the airport which is around 36 km away from her residence.
The driver showed up after 14 minutes and picked her only after repeated calls.
Series of unfortunate events
Before beginning the ride, the driver was busy talking on the phone and started the trip only after ending his conversation.
After that he took a wrong turn and took the cab to a nearby CNG station where he spent about 15-20 minutes.
They eventually reached the airport at 5.23 pm but it was too late and she missed her flight.
She had to take the next available flight at her own expense.
The amount billed to her for the ride was Rs 703 while the estimated fare, at the time of booking, was Rs 563.
She said that she missed her flight only because of the driver’s negligence and unprofessional conduct.
She posted a complaint on Twitter after which Uber refunded Rs 139, the difference in estimated and actual fare.
She further filed the complaint with the Thane additional district consumer disputes redressal commission after a legal notice to the firm elicited a response which was of “no use.”
Uber India then said it acts as an aggregator and is not responsible for the driver’s default as its role is limited to only facilitating a connection between driver and customer.
All its drivers are independent contractors and thereby are individually responsible for any act committed by them and also for any incidents taking place during a ride.
No evading responsibility
The commission then held that the app is managed and controlled by the firm and all transactions and services provided are managed by the firm.
The woman had taken services of Uber by using the app and paid the amount charged by the app to Uber and not to the driver, who was appointed by the firm.