A Consumer Court in Bengaluru has directed Bhavish Aggarwal, Managing Director of ANI Technologies Private Limited which operates OLA cabs, to compensate a consumer who was provided with a cab wherein the air conditioning was not operational.
A bench led by President M. Shobha partly allowed the complaint filed by one Vikas Bhusan and directed Aggarwal to refund the trip cost of Rs.1,837, with interest at the rate of 10% p.a. from the date of complaint till realisation. Further, it directed to pay a compensation of Rs.10,000 and litigation expenses of Rs.5,000 to the complainant, within 60 days, failing which he shall pay interest at 12% p.a. on Rs.1,837, till final payment.
As per the complaint Bhusan with his business partners hired an Ola cab (Prime Sedan) on 18.10.2021, for eight hours/80 kms. The feature details published on the Ola website and mobile applications included air conditioner, extra leg room, top quality cab/fleet and driver etc., with service agreement from Ola cabs mobile application, but the air conditioner was not working for the entire eight hours.
He claimed that there is no mechanism to complain to Ola on an ongoing trip and if the trip is stopped in between due to any issue or inconvenience the total amount will be charged to the customer.
Subsequently he approached the customer service regarding cab rental issues on the same day regarding service issues and seeking refund for the same, but the company denied the complaint and refund stating that he was charged as per rate card and there is no additional charge for AC.
After multiple rounds of discussion with customer support, Ola is said to have accepted the deficiency in the service and issued a voucher of Rs.100.
Following which the complainant registered a complaint for deficiency in service and sought refund. In response to the notice, Aggarwal appeared and filed his version, after a lapse of 45 days.
The Commission noted that the company had sent a letter stating the AC was not working and they have sought an apology for the inconvenience caused during the booking. They also stated that as per the rate card they have not charged any additional charges for AC and hence they refuse to refund the amount.
Thus it observed “It is clear from the very admission made by the OP that they have sent the Ola cab even though the AC was not working in the said car after collecting the entire amount of Rs.1,837.”
Following which it held “It is the duty of the OP to provide all services to the customers as per promise made by them, they have made the customer suffer inconvenience and mental agony during his trip without providing the service of AC for the entire trip period of 8 hours. Therefore, the OP has committed deficiency of service and also unfair trade practice on their part. Hence, the complainant is entitled for relief.”
Case Title: Vikas Bhusan And Bhavish Aggarwal
Case No: CC/120/2022
Date of Order: 18-01-2023