Hyderabad: In a recent verdict by the District Consumer Redressal Commission, Ola Cabs has been directed to compensate a Hyderabad resident with Rs 2,000 and refund Rs 912 due to alleged deficiency in service and unfair trade practices. The case revolves around Ajay Velpula, a 36-year-old resident of Bholakpur, Hyderabad, who engaged an Ola cab for a journey on January 19, 2021.
Velpula had booked the Ola cab to travel from his residence in Bhoiguda to Chillapally Mandal Manthany in Peddapally District, a distance of approximately 215 kilometers. However, due to unforeseen personal reasons, he had to terminate the journey midway and alighted at Garrepalle, after covering about 173 kilometers. The discrepancy arose when he was charged a sum of Rs 5,848 for a ride that had covered only 173 kilometers, as opposed to the planned 215 kilometers.
Despite challenging the driver regarding the fare discrepancy and raising concerns through Ola’s customer support, Mr. Velpula was compelled to pay the charged amount. Following this, Ola Cabs communicated with the complainant on November 11, 2021, promising reimbursement of the excess amount and apologizing for the inconvenience caused. However, the company intended to refund only Rs 912, which was substantially less than the complainant’s claim of Rs 1,730.
The dispute escalated when Ola Cabs refused to reconsider its stance on the refund amount, prompting Velpula to file a formal complaint with the District Consumer Redressal Commission. The Commission issued notices to Ola Cabs, which subsequently admitted the due refund of Rs 912 but failed to initiate the process despite the complainant’s presentation of supporting bills.
In its ruling, the Commission found Ola Cabs in violation of both deficient service and unfair trade practices. Citing the company’s failure to promptly refund the correct amount, the court deemed this action as unjust and ruled in favor of the complainant, Ajay Velpula. The verdict orders Ola Cabs to refund the Rs 912 with an additional 12 percent interest, compensate Velpula with Rs 2,000, and bear litigation costs of Rs 1,000, all to be completed within a span of 45 days.
This judgment underscores the significance of fair business practices and timely resolution of customer grievances, setting a precedent for accountability in the realm of consumer services.