Booking a cab with few taps on the smartphone screen is a quick solution for commuters across Indian cities, who can't find a taxi or are traveling late at night. But delays, behaviour of the driver and their inability to find the location can make the Ola and Uber experience additionally taxing.
After receiving almost 19,000 complaints against the platforms since 2017, the central consumer protection watchdog has slapped Ola and Uber with notices.
Unfair trade practices and lack of redressal
Apart from deficiencies in service, the two leading cab aggregator apps have also been pulled up for the lack of adequate grievance redressal.
Ola and Uber had received a similar notice last year as well, and unfair cancellation charges along with pre-ticked boxes to charge for add-on services were flagged as unfair practices.
They were also advised to partner with the national consumer helpline, to ensure compliance with norms and effective redressal of complaints.
There have been instances such as one when Ola's MD was ordered to compensate a passenger for a defunct AC.
Last year, a number of Ola and Uber drivers had also refused to switch on air conditioning over high fuel prices.
Facing complaints while battling competition
The two ride aggregators command a majority of the market share in most Indian cities, but have been facing competition from local players.
The Namma Yatri app, which connects Bengaluru's people with rickshaw drivers, has also been onboarded by the ONDC.
The same open source platform for public transport has been planned across other Indian cities as well, and could hit Ola and Uber.
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