The Center set up ride-sharing services Ola and Uber and asked them to put their homes in order, amid growing consumer complaints about rising fares, drivers refusing air conditioning in taxis, rude behavior and widespread cancellations.
The consumer protection regulator, the Central Consumer Protection Authority, or CCPA, has issued notices to taxi aggregators for unfair trading practices and violation of consumer rights. Authorities gave businesses 15 days to respond to the notice.
The lack of an appropriate consumer grievance mechanism, lack of services, unreasonable cancellation fees, and the fairness of the algorithm used to charge rates are among the key issues raised by the CCPA.
The notices were sent after the CCPA met with taxi aggregators on May 10. It was the second meeting called by the Department of Consumer Affairs after widespread complaints from commuters. The meeting brought together representatives from Ola, Uber, Meru, Rapido and Jugnu.
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The government told taxi aggregators that complaints against them included taxi fare hikes, drivers refusing to turn on air conditioning, cancellations and drivers demanding money.
The government has warned against strict action unless companies improve their systems and address growing complaints.
“We told them about the increase in consumer complaints against their platforms. We also gave them the statistics. We have asked them to improve their system and address consumer complaints, otherwise the relevant authority will take strict action,” Consumer Secretary Rohit Kumar Singh said after the meeting.
Uber has in recent weeks increased fares to protect drivers from the impact of rising fuel prices in many cities in India.
Read also: | Uber India raises taxi prices amid rising fuel prices
Drivers will now be able to see revenue from long pickups separately on the till receipt.
Uber has also introduced a daily payout process for drivers to ensure that earnings from Monday-Thursday rides are credited to drivers on Fridays, while Friday-Sunday earnings are credited on Mondays.
The Uber app now tells drivers how to pay (cash or online) before the ride begins. According to the company, this will allow the driver to choose a cash-only ride if they wish.