Uber charges Rs 1,334 for a short ride, user approaches consumer court and wins Rs 10,000

The Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission of Chandigarh granted compensation to an Uber customer who was charged an exorbitant fare for a short ride. Ashwani Prashar, hailing from Chandigarh, was awarded Rs 10,000 along with an additional Rs 10,000 for legal expenses after contesting the ride fare of Rs 1,334 for a mere 8.83-kilometer journey on August 6, 2021.

Prashar’s grievance stemmed from the stark contrast between the upfront fare displayed, which amounted to Rs 359, and the final charge he incurred. Despite his attempts to address the issue through customer chats and emails, he received no resolution, reported The Indian Express.

Uber India defended the fare hike, attributing it to multiple route deviations during the trip. However, the commission emphasized that the discrepancy between the upfront fare and the actual charge constitutes unfair trade practice. As a result, they ruled in favor of Prashar, recognizing his entitlement to compensate for mental distress and harassment.

The commission further emphasized that it is the responsibility of service providers like Uber to maintain transparency and uphold consumer trust. It mandated that Uber deposit a sum of Rs 10,000 into the Consumer Welfare Fund in addition to compensating Prashar and covering his litigation expenses.

The forum stated that the “practice of charging excess fare than that of the actual contracted fare at the time of advance booking, is unfair trade practice, which needs be deprecated and as such a complaint is entitled to compensation for mental agony and harassment and also to litigation expenses.”

“In order to keep a check on such unreliable service providers, who commit a breach of assurances, promises, and commitments at the nick of time, they are required to be dealt with heavy hands, and as such OPs must be made to deposit at “at least Rs 10,000 as compensation in Consumer Welfare Fund of this Forum, in addition to the amounts payable to the complainant as compensation and litigation expenses,” it stated.

Critically, the ruling highlighted the expectation of consumers to engage with the branded service provider rather than its undisclosed partners. It emphasizes that consumers lack insight into the intricacies of contracts between Uber and its drivers, saying that it is Uber’s accountability despite any hidden agreements with driver partners.

In response to the ruling, Uber India refunded a portion of the fare in Uber Credits as a goodwill gesture, recognizing the need to reassure users of the platform’s reliability.

Published By:

Ankita Garg

Published On:

March 17, 2024