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Consumer protection body issues notices to Ola, Uber for violation of consumer rights, unfair trade practice

BL New Delhi Bureau | | Updated on: May 20, 2022

Concerns include inadequate consumer grievance redressal mechanism, deficiency in service including lack of proper response from customer support and unprofessional behaviour of drivers such as refusing to take online payment and over charging

The Central Consumer Protection Authority on Friday said it has issued notices to Ola and Uber for violation of consumer rights and unfair trade practices.

The Authority has raised concerns including lack of consumer grievance redressal mechanisms and unreasonable levy of cancellation charges among others. It added, that a “significant number of complaints have been lodged by consumers across the country on multiple issues which affect their rides booked through the ride hailing platforms.”

Citing data from the National Consumer Helpline, the official statement said that from April 1 to May 1, over 2,482 consumer grievances were registered against Ola and 770 against Uber.

These notices come after the Department of Consumer Affairs had held a meeting with online ride hailing platforms last week and directed them to become convergence partner in the National Consumer Helpline and comply with Consumer Protection Act, 2019 and E-commerce rules.

The official statement said that primary concerns raised by the Authority in the notices 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. It also pointed to deficiency in services including instances of lack of proper response from customer support, unprofessional behaviour of drivers such as refusing to take payment by online mode and over charging.

Pointing to issues of “Unreasonable levy of cancellation charges”, it added, that ,” users are not shown the time within which rides can be cancelled and 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 unwillingness of the driver to accept the ride or come to the pick-up location,” CCPA said.

It added that there is also lack of any information on the algorithm or method used by the two companies to charge different fares for the same route.

“CCPA is regularly monitoring the consumer protection landscape in the country. CCPA has also issued an advisory to all marketplace e-commerce entities to ensure that details of sellers as mandated under sub-rule (5) of rule 6 of the Consumer Protection (E-commerce) Rules, 2020 including name and contact number of the grievance officer are provided in a clear and accessible manner, displayed prominently to users on the platform,” the statement added.

Published on May 20, 2022
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