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Uber ordered by consumer court to compensate customer with Rs 10,000 after charging Rs 1,334 for 8.8km journey

The District Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission of Chandigarh has penalized Uber India with a fine of Rs 20,000, ordering them to pay Rs 10,000 to a Chandigarh resident for overcharging and to deposit the remaining Rs 10,000 in a Legal Aid account. The commission’s decision came after Ashwani Prashar of Chandigarh filed a complaint against Uber, claiming that he was charged Rs 1,334 for a ride covering a distance of 8.83 km, amounting to Rs 150 per km. Prashar alleged that the ride duration was only 15 minutes, from 10:40 pm to 10:57 pm on August 6, 2021. Despite his attempts to resolve the issue through customer chats and emails, Prashar’s grievances remained unresolved.

Uber India contested the complaint, stating that the upfront fare displayed to the rider was Rs 359, but the final fare amounted to Rs 1,334 due to multiple route deviations during the journey. They clarified that they refunded Uber Credits worth Rs 975 to Prashar’s account as a goodwill gesture. Uber argued that they cannot be held liable for route deviations caused by either the rider or the driver, as they act as intermediaries between the two parties.



Upon reviewing the documents, the commission found that the original fare displayed was Rs 358.57 for a distance of 4.89 miles, taking 16.38 minutes. However, Prashar was charged Rs 1,334 according to the Uber app. While Uber claimed that the route deviations were due to obstacles on the road, they still refunded a portion of the fare to Prashar.

The commission deemed the practice of charging excess fare compared to the contracted fare during advance booking as unfair trade practice, entitling Prashar to compensation for mental agony and harassment, as well as litigation expenses. They emphasized the need to hold service providers accountable for breaching assurances and commitments. The commission directed Uber India to deposit Rs 10,000 as compensation in the Consumer Welfare Fund, in addition to compensating Prashar and covering litigation expenses.

The commission criticized Uber’s reliance on hidden contracts between the company and its drivers, arguing that consumers expect to contract with the branded service provider rather than its hidden partners. They held Uber India responsible for failing to provide proper services and engaging in unfair trade practices, leading to unnecessary litigation for Prashar.

In conclusion, the commission’s decision serves as a warning to service providers to uphold their commitments and ensure transparency in their dealings with consumers. It underscores the importance of holding companies accountable for their actions and providing adequate compensation to consumers for any deficiencies in service.

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