Ola ordered to pay Rs. 95,000 to Hyderabad man for overcharging

Report by: Lizansha Birla

Complainant/plaintiff: Jabez Samuel
Defendant: OLA Cabs
At Hyderabad district consumer disputes Redressal commission 

The plaintiff filed a complaint against a trip he booked with OLA in October 2021.
Petitioner claim:
1. Compensation for the loss, mental agony
2. Unfair trade practice of company
3. Service deficiency
The petitioner had been dropped midway at an approximate distance of 5 kilometer and was forced to pay a sum of Rs. 861 for the distance travelled for a ride which he along with his wife had booked
for 4 hours, 2 days prior to the journey. When asked to switch on the air-conditioner the driver refused to do the same and behaved rudely. Due to the happening, the plaintiff had to skip his scheduled programs. He emailed at the support email provided to reach out the officials but the customer care executive failed to connect the call to the higher officials for the said complaint and no higher official intervened in the matter. The plaintiff received multiple calls from the customer care service authority asking him to clear off the due by paying the pending balance amount and thus he paid the balance money in January 2022. The actual fare for travelling the distance of approximate 5 kilometer should have been 150-200 Rs. whereas he was charged an amount of Rs. 861. Plaintiff has filed the complaint under Section 35 of the Consumer Protection Act which states that any complaint in relation to service provided or which has been agreed to be provided may be filed before the District commission.

Defendant claim:
Did not appear before the commission even after due service of notice made.

Commission Observed:
The absence of the defendant was noted by the commission and also stated that the compensation demanded by the plaintiff of Rs. 4,99,000 was excessive in terms of the harassment, stress and hardship caused to the plaintiff due to lack of transportation service provided by the company and thus the commission decided to provide the complainant with the compensation of Rs. 88,000 in addition to Rs. 7000 for the expenses he has incurred during the proceedings. Also, the ridesharing company was directed to refund the charged money, Rs. 861 along with interest payment at a rate of Rs. 12% per annum, from the date of journey till realization of money. The commission had fixed 45 days for compliance of the order and any failure would amount to interest payment.

The case represents grievance of the consumer while availing service from the service provider, the mental stress, ill behavior and harassment suffered by the plaintiff was taken into consideration
while deciding the compensation amount and also the service deficiency and the time spend by the plaintiff during the matter and proceeding was also included into the compensation amount. The
commission has reasonably calculated the value taking into account all possible sufferings and situation happened. The objective of the act to prevent consumer from unfair trade practices and providing with a mechanism for prompt action on complaints has been fulfilled by the redressal commission. The commission in its decision has secured the interest of the consumer and has provided with a remedy for the loss incurred.

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