Two NGOs have approached the apex consumer commission seeking a refund of over Rs 9,200 crore as excess amount allegedly charged by Ola and Uber, claiming that the cab aggregators indulged in “unfair trade practices” by overcharging in the name of surge pricing.
The complaint alleged that these cab service providers were charging excess fare than the amount notified by state governments, as it sought imposition of a penalty of the like amount on them.
The petition would come up for hearing before a bench of National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission on October 5.
The complaint was filed by NGOs ‘Nyaybhoomi’ and ‘Pariwar Unity Road Safety Life Safety, besides two Delhi residents Anu Jain and Manisha Pandey, who were allegedly overcharged by cab providers when they availed their services.
The petition was filed against ANI Technologies Pvt Ltd, which runs Ola, Uber India Systems Pvt Ltd and Serendipity Infolabs Pvt Ltd which runs Taxi For Sure.
It sought a refund of an estimated amount of Rs 9239 crore from the cab operators on behalf of all passengers across the country, as the excess money collected by them in the past three years.
“It is clear from the provision of law that the opposite parties (cab providers) cannot charge a single paisa more than the fares notified by respective state governments. However, opposite parties have been blatantly overcharging passengers.
“These companies announce/publish fares as low as Rs 6 per km but actually charge beyond the notified fares in the form of ‘surge prices’. When making a booking, the mobile application does show the multiplier by which the final total would be multiplied but the same is without sanction of law and is thus illegal,” the plea said.
It said that in August this year, the Delhi High Court had barred the cab providers from charging fares higher than those notified by the Delhi Government after August 22.
“It is evident that the opposite parties are forcing the passengers to pay more than what is notified under section 67 of the Motor Vehicles Act, 1988 by various state governments.
“Besides being illegal and a violation of the orders of the Delhi High Court, the practice of overcharging amounts to unfair trade practice and is indulged in by blatantly misleading the passengers with published fares as low as Rs 6 per km but charging them far higher rates,” the plea said.