Amid a rise in customer complaints against cab aggregators, consumer protection regulator Central Consumer Protection Authority has called a meeting of ride-hailing platforms like Ola and Uber next week for seeking details about their policies related to pricing and cancellation of rides.
Speaking to PTI, CCPA Chief Commissioner Nidhi Khare said, "We have received several complaints from consumers regarding the cancellation and pricing policy of cab aggregators. The number of complaints are very high and therefore we have called the cab aggregators for explanation of their policies."
Citing a few examples, Khare 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. Khare 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 the cab aggregators are using algorithms to lure new customers, putting old customers at disadvantage. This is unfair practice," she added.
In this backdrop, Khare said the regulator would like to understand their algorithms and other policies adopted for operating as cab aggregators in the country. The meeting is likely to be held on May 10.
Last month, Uber raised fares in several locations in the wake of rising fuel prices. In March, cabs in locations such as Delhi, Lucknow, Kolkata and Hyderabad implemented a model where cab drivers would charge an additional fare from customers for switching on the air conditioning. â€śWith rising fuel prices it is becoming very difficult for taxi drivers. The taxi aggregators arenâ€™t increasing the tariff that is paid to taxi drivers. That is why we decided to charge an additional fee for using the air conditioner in the taxis,â€ť Shaik Salauddin, the National General Secretary, Indian Federation of App-based Transport Workers (IFAT) told TNM earlier.
Speaking to TNM, Shaik Salauddin, National General Secretary, Indian Federation of App-based Transport Workers (IFAT) said this model has been implemented on a pilot project basis in few states. â€śIn Delhi, Lucknow, Kolkata and Hyderabad we have implemented this as a pilot project. We have a meeting on Monday, March 26, to decide if the taxi drivers from across states should implement this.â€ť