Uber is one of the biggest taxi service giants in the world. They may be known as a taxi service giant, but when it comes to addressing legal problems and consumer issues, they are not a taxi company at all as per their only two departments they have in their company – legal department and corporate communication department. They started in India without any customer care, without any phone number and without any proper consumer redressal system.
Earlier, they used to provide assistance through an email id system which has also been discontinued. Now after booking a cab, there can emerge several reasons to cancel the cab, which I personally face almost every day. One of the prime reasons could be the driver who calls you up immediately after you have booked the cab and tells you that he is not ready to go to the location where you want to go.
Let’s understand it properly, How Uber is cheating the customers in India:
1. User books the cab and wants to go to “Area X”
2. The user gets a call from the driver and the driver says he will not go to “Area X”. Now when you ask the driver to cancel the cab since he is not willing to go to the location, he will outright deny cancelling the cab. The cab driver will rather ask you to cancel the cab.
3. If the user cancels and loses 5 minutes, since that is the time driver took to call you – Uber puts a penalty on User, without any fault of the user. The entire fault is that of the driver, still, the consumer suffers and Uber has created a process in a manner where only, the consumer suffers and users money is stuck.
4. Earlier Uber used to ask the reason of cancellation, where you could choose that driver has refused to take the trip. Now very smartly Uber has stopped doing that as well, they have put only one reason of cancellation now “Wrong pick-up location”. They have very smartly put the entire blame on the user
UBER screenshot, which has no options for reasons of cancellation:
Now to the second matter, where a consumer is overcharged in case of:
1. The driver taking a longer route
2. The driver starting the trip early
3. The driver taking a toll route which is not required
The consumer has little redressal system. Forget about a phone number to call, Uber does not even have an email id to report the case anymore. The options given in app are very generic and limited, which are the following. We had discussions and took feedback from multiple Uber users, we have got a 100% negative feedback that redressal system is improper and totally anti-consumer. Once you have put the complaint, wherein the biggest issue is “Driver intentionally taking the longer route” – that option of a complaint is not even available in Uber help options. The only option is “I was overcharged”. Most users were frustrated about that fact that the reply to that complaint is a generic email(see screenshot) below, which never refunds any money which was overcharged due to a mistake of the driver, just gives a general information, that the traffic may have been more, or the route may have been longer.
UBER shuts down email help in India (screenshot below):
UBER generic emails, without any specific resolution:
Not have a proper redressal system, not have proper options to put the complaint, not having any phone number or email to report the issue, and finally getting only generic replies to issues, wherein clearly the Uber company and the driver is at fault, is totally illegal. To cover this up, Uber does massive PR campaigns, has a very strong legal team to twist the laws to extract more monies out of the customers. In addition in India, they have hired the star Virat Kohli as Uber’s brand ambassador. Mr Virat Kohli is a star, but he should also take these decisions based on the credibility of the company, Uber is known for multiple legal and cheating issues across the world, following are few examples of the same:
1. Uber getting banned in Korea and now accepting that they will follow the rules.
2. Uberpop getting banned in Spain and multiple European courts have closed down Uber services in European cities
3. Uber was banned in the city of London for not following the rules and laws
4. Uber was banned in Bulgaria, Denmark, Hungary and Australia, where they did not follow the local laws
5. Uber banner in Brighton in UK
6. Uber is expected to be banned in Turkey, where there are claims of multiple irregularities
7. Uber is also partially banned in France, Italy, Germany and the Netherlands
In spite of such major consumer issues in India. There is no action from the Indian Government and the Ministry of Transport. The users are hoping that India government also takes up some stern action, so the rights of India users are in good hands. As of now, the situation is really poor for Uber users, as the redressal system is going weaker and weaker for them in India.