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Taxi aggregators, including Ola & Uber, warns of strict action for unfair trade practices

By Ruchi Upadhyay 
Updated Date

New Delhi: The Center has slammed cab aggregators including Ola and Uber for alleged unfair trade practices and warned them of strict action if they fail to reform their systems and address rising consumer complaints, a senior government official said on Tuesday. The meeting was attended by representatives of Ola, Uber, Meru, Rapido and Firefly.

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On Tuesday, the government met with the ride-hailing platforms as consumer complaints have increased significantly against them regarding unfair trade practices, including ride cancellation policy, drivers forcing customers to cancel trips, etc.

“We told them about the rising consumer complaints against their platforms. We gave them the statistics also. We have asked them to improve their system and redress the consumer complaints otherwise the competent authority will take strict action,” Consumer Affairs Secretary Rohit Kumar Singh said after the meeting, a senior official informed.

Pointing out that consumer complaints on the Jago Grahak Jago helpline are just the tip of the iceberg, Central Consumer Protection Authority (CCPA) Chief Commissioner Nidhi Khare insisted that cab aggregators should find a solution fast. “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.

Khare also said the government has communicated that there will be “zero tolerance against such malpractices” by cab aggregators.

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Last week, CCPA received several complaints from consumers regarding the cancellation and pricing policy of cab aggregators. Khare pointed out, “The number of complaints is very high and therefore we have called the cab aggregators for an explanation of their policies.”

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.

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.

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