App-based cab services to face whip

App-based cab services to face whip
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The Hyderabad Traffic Police and Transport Department are gearing up to crack whip against the app-based taxi services in Hyderabad, including Ola and Uber for surge pricing. The officials are expected to start enforcement against the violations done by cab services by first week of June.

surge pricing

Hyderabad: The transport department and the traffic police took the deThe Hyderabad Traffic Police and Transport Department are gearing up to crack whip against the app-based taxi services in Hyderabad, including Ola and Uber for surge pricing.

The officials are expected to start enforcement against the violations done by cab services by first week of June.cision after receiving several complaints against the app-based cab companies for charging surge prices. The officials are also planning to take up the issue with the government and pass an order to prevent over-charging on transport.

There are over 30,000 cabs in Hyderabad in which about 30 percent are run by app-based companies like Ola and Uber. For example, if the peak pricing applicable on your booking is 1.2X, then your total fare will become 1.2 times the standard fare. Peak pricing is only applied when there is a high demand for cabs.

In the mobile-app of the cab service providers, a message will be displayed saying that peak time charges may be applicable due to high demand hours, which enables a person to book the cab only after agreeing to pay more. Surge pricing is a technique used by the companies to keep their services running, and also offer incentives to the drivers for accepting rides during peak hours.

“Peak pricing might apply on standard fares depending on the time of booking. This is not a fixed charge and varies as per the demand for the cabs. This helps us encourage more drivers to log in to the Ola app and be available for bookings. We will always inform you if peak pricing is applicable before you confirm your booking,” according to Ola.

In an incident faced by an Ola user, a cab was booked to travel 8.9 km and was charged Rs 421, with peak price charging of Rs 265.34 apart from ride time charge and others.

When the commuter raised a ticket for not displaying the peak hour warning, Ola denied accepting the mistake. Later, when a ticket (issue) was raised through a mail, they rectified the mistake and sent another bill for Rs 157 and also sent a mail regretting the mistake.

Sharing the grievance experienced with Ola, the user told The Hans India, “I was picked up at 10.30 pm and was dropped at the destination in 12 minutes. The driver was rude and was not cooperative. I had to argue with the customer service for about an hour to get the issue resolved.

Because I argued, I got to know that I was cheated, or else I would have had to pay the money. Pathetically, they do not have adequate customer support facilities and they want the customers to mail the problems and wait for a reply, till it gets resolved.”

Another customer said that they were charged Rs 750 for a distance of about 12 km though there was no message of surge charges. Traffic DCP A V Ranganath said, “During peak hours, lakhs of employees go to work at the same time, and that is when the cab operators are charging more in the name of surge.

They (cabs) are not exceptional and will be booked for violations. They charge 2X and 4X of the standard pricing, which will not be spared,” said DCP. Referring to the actions initiated by the Delhi Government and also the Bangalore City Police, DCP Ranganath said, “Surge pricing is a violation according to the law.

Delhi and Bangalore City Police have banned surge pricing by app-based cab services. If necessary, our teams will be sent there to study their operational model.” A meeting will be held in the next week with the officials of transport department and other officials concerned to discuss the necessary measures that are to be taken, he added.

By Jayendra Chaithanya T

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