Ola, Uber, other cab aggregators to meet government on unfair trade practices

Consumer Affairs Secretary Rohit Kumar Singh on Monday said the government has called on cab aggregators like Ola and Uber to discuss policies related to fare calculation, surge pricing, ride cancellation and measures taken by them for data security of customers. A meeting has been called. The meeting has been called amid a rise in consumer complaints of alleged unfair trade practices by these platforms, including a ride cancellation policy as drivers force customers to cancel trips after accepting bookings, resulting in customer cancellations. pay the penalty.

“We have sought information from cab aggregators on how they handle cancellation charges and surge pricing and how they calculate fares,” Singh said on the sidelines of an event organized by the ministry.

He further said, “We have asked why the fee for going from point A to point B is different for two different people.” The ministry would also like to know whether these ride hailing apps have taken adequate measures to protect consumer data on their platforms.

“We have sought information. We will discuss with them and take further action based on the outcome,” the secretary said.

Last week, Central Consumer Protection Authority (CCPA) chief commissioner Nidhi Khare said, “We have received several complaints from consumers regarding cancellation and pricing policy of cab aggregators. Called for it. Explanation of their policies.” Citing a few examples, Khare said the regulator has received several complaints of alleged unfair trade practices, including cab drivers forcing consumers to cancel a trip and bear fines because the driver could not ride for any reason. do not wish to accept.

Khare further said that existing consumers are being charged higher rates for a ride, while new users are lured with lower charges for the same distance.

“It seems that cab aggregators are using algorithms to woo new customers, thereby hurting old customers. This is an unfair practice,” he said.

Against this background, Khare said the regulator would like to understand their algorithms and other policies adopted for operating as cab aggregators in the country.

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