26 Oct 2022 2:30 PM GMT
Holding the cab aggregator responsible for the driver's negligence, a Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum in Thane directed Uber India to pay a lawyer Rs. 20,000 for a missed flight to Chennai owing to delays caused by the driver. The forum held that the complainant was Uber's consumer under the Consumer Protection Act 2019 and the driver was merely an agent appointed by the cab...
Holding the cab aggregator responsible for the driver's negligence, a Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum in Thane directed Uber India to pay a lawyer Rs. 20,000 for a missed flight to Chennai owing to delays caused by the driver.
The forum held that the complainant was Uber's consumer under the Consumer Protection Act 2019 and the driver was merely an agent appointed by the cab aggregator.
"it is proved that the third party contractor (driver) is appointed and managed by opposite party (Uber) for providing services to complainant… Therefore, we came to the conclusion that the, complainant is consumer of opposite party and opposite party provided services by appointing driver as agent…and received consideration from complainant," a three member panel of in charge president RP Nagre, members GM Kapse and SA Petkar said.
Thus, the forum awarded Rs. 10,000 compensation and another Rs. 10,000 for complainant expenses.
The complainant Kavita Sharma, an advocate from Dombivali said she booked an Uber at 3.29pm on June 12, 2018 to take a flight from Mumbai to Chennai as she had an important conference to attend. In her complaint Sharma listed out various ways in the which the driver delayed the 36 km ride. He reached her residence 14 mins late, the driver failed to begin the ride on time and also took a longer route to fill CNG, she submitted. The lawyer missed her flight and was forced to take the next one at her own expense.
She approached the consumer forum in Thane after Uber refunded merely the difference, which is the estimated cost of Rs 563 to the actual cost of Rs. 703 which she was forced to pay.
In its response before the forum, Uber claimed that it was merely a cab aggregator providing a software on the smartphone which was used to connect drivers to their end users. Moreover, all drivers work as independent contractors and therefore Uber is not responsible for a driver's default. Moreover, the drivers aren't employed by them.
In its order, the forum noted that Uber's terms and conditions specify that it has control over the application and provides support by arranging for scheduled transportation. It also provides logistical support to the drivers and reserves its right to make additional service conditions, the forum noted.
The forum specifically took note of point number 4 of terms and condition that, after providing services Uber facilitates payment and "reserved rights to charge additional amount for pickup facility provided at various places…"
The forum noted that the cab aggregator had already accepted there was a deficiency and was "trying to resolve the grievance by adjusting extra fare of Rs. 139 which was paid by the complainant for longer route." However, this was "not justified" considering the "agony" the lawyer had to face.
"From the above said points of the terms and condition of opposite party, it is cleared that the Uber app managed and controlled by opposite party also all transaction and services provided via Uber app is managed by opposite party. The complainant had taken services of opposite party by using app and for Transport services complainant Paid consideration to opposite party as per charged by Uber app and not to the driver who was appointed by Uber India be provide service to the complainant."
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