The government held a meeting with the ride-hailing companies
The central government is serious about the complaints of those who book cabs from Ola-Uber. The government has sent notices to both the companies and asked them to answer many questions in 15 days. In fact, most of the customers who have booked taxis from Ola and Uber complain that the drivers of the cabs behave badly. Repeatedly cancels rides and does not run AC during travel.
The main issues under discussion included the surge pricing, frequent cancellation of rides by drivers over trivial issues such as the destination and payment mode, refusal to turn on air conditioners in cabs, different pricing for different users, and more.
Will have to answer these questions of CCPA
The regulator CCPA, which protects the interests of customers, has issued a notice to Ola-Uber. This notice has been sent to both the companies regarding the unfair way of doing business and infringement of the right of customers. Along with this, both the companies are also accused of lapses in service, lack of an adequate system for redressal of customer complaints, impractical levy of cancellation charges, and lack of transparency in fare fixation algorithm.
Ola and Uber have to respond to all these points within 15 days. Earlier, CCPA had a meeting with cab aggregators companies on 10 May. This was the second meeting of the Consumer Affairs Ministry with the cab aggregators. The government had called this meeting after receiving many complaints from customers.
“Bring reforms otherwise there will be strict action”
During the meeting, the government told the cab aggregators that it has received complaints related to sudden hikes in cab fares, refusal of drivers to turn on ACs, cancellations, and demands for drivers’ cash. The government bluntly told the companies that they have to fix their systems and improve their services, otherwise, strict action will be taken against them.
After the meeting, Consumer Affairs Secretary Rohit Kumar Singh said that we have asked the companies to be ready to face strict action. Along with this, data related to complaints has also been made available to them. Representatives of cab and ride aggregator companies like Ola, Uber, Meru, Rapido, and Jugnu attended the meeting.
Meanwhile, Ola-Uber has increased its service prices in many cities due to the rising prices of petrol and diesel. With this, drivers will be able to earn more on long-distance travel.
CCPA on Ola-Uber issues
Central Consumer Protection Authority (CCPA) Chief Commissioner Nidhi Khare said the cab aggregators should immediately come out with solutions.
“The authority is likely to issue an advisory to ensure that unfair trade practices by cab aggregators are not carried on in violation of consumers’ rights,” she added.
Citing a few examples, she had said the regulator has received many complaints of alleged unfair trade practices, including cab drivers forcing consumers to cancel a trip and bear a penalty as the drivers do not want to accept the ride for whatever reason.
She further said existing consumers are being charged high rates for a ride, while new users are lured with lower charges for the same distance.
“It appears that cab aggregators are using algorithms to lure new customers, putting old customers at a disadvantage. This is an unfair practice,” she added.
As per the regulator, cab aggregators are charging a premium to their existing customers and offering discounts to lure new customers. Differential pricing for the same location has been termed as an “unfair practice” by the regulator.
Khare has added that aggregators will be called upon to reveal their algorithms and policies that are used to determine prices, cancellation charges and surge prices.
The aggregators have also been asked to reveal the steps taken by them to safeguard customers’ data on their platforms.