Convergence of Ride-hailing platforms in National Consumer Helpline

Ride-hailing companies such as Ola and Uber were directed by the Department of Consumer Affairs (DoCA) to become convergence partners in the National Consumer Helpline (NCH).

What is the need for convergence?

Converges ensures better grievance redressal for consumers. It will also ensure compliance with Consumer Protection Act, 2019 and E-commerce Rules, 2020.

What are the major ride-hailing apps in India?

Ola, Uber, Rapido, Meru Cabs, Jugnoo, etc.

What are the major consumer grievances against ride-hailing apps?

  • Deficiency in service provided by the platforms
  • Inaccessible customer support to the consumers
  • Unreasonable cancellation charges
  • Fairness of calculation of the ride fares by the algorithms

What are the service-related grievances?

  • Refusal of online mode of payment by the drivers.
  • Including services such as insurance without obtaining explicit consent from the consumer.
  • Charging a higher amount on the same route traveled previously at a lesser charge.
  • Unprofessional behavior of the driver
  • Lack of comfort like not switching on the AC by the driver.

What are the issues with customer support?

  • Customer care number is not easily available on the app.
  • Details of grievance redressal officers are also not mentioned on the app.
  • Instead of talking in real-time with the customer and redressing the grievance, an automated pre-written message is provided.

What are the issues regarding the levy of cancellation charges?

  • Customer is not shown the time within which canceling a ride is allowed and the cancellation charge amount is not clearly mentioned on the app before booking the ride.
  • Cancellation Charges are arbitrary.
  • Often drivers force users to cancel the rides and the user has to bear the cancellation charges.

 What are the issues with algorithms?

For the same route, a frequent customer is charged higher than the person who is traveling for the first time. Thus, the calculation of fares by the algorithm is arbitrary.

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