Time and again, ride-hailing companies – Uber and Ola are rebuked by the Indian Courts for irrational pricing. However, there is hardly any end to this surge pricing practice or dynamic pricing of cab fares during peak hours.
Taking a strong stance over surge pricing practice by the duo, Ashwani Mahajan, National Co-Convener of RSS affiliate Swadeshi Jagaran Manch (SJM) has written a complaint letter to Nitin Gadkari, asking him to take necessary and immediate action against the surge pricing.
The letter mentioned that these app-based taxi service providers like Uber and Ola are making profits under the ambit of surge pricing. Commuters across the country have been complaining about dynamic pricing and increasing menace of cancellation of rides from drivers.
Mahajan demands Rs 100 or an amount equivalent to 20% of the fare should be credited in the customer’s account in case of a driver cancelling a ride. He further claimed that people want surge pricing to be capped at 25%.
There should be no surge pricing on advance scheduled booking and basic customer service, and app features must be standardized in case of emergencies, added the letter, as per ET report.
In response, Gadkari has already directed officials to take the required steps in this respect, and the Central Government would review the matter soon.
This letter has come at a time when the government is considering surge pricing to cap up to 3X in the new policy regulating the cab operators in new Motor Vehicles (Amendment) Act, 2019.
This is not the first time when the issue of surge pricing has come into the limelight. There have been various instances of protests and debates against it in the past. In 2016, Delhi High Court had even banned the practise of surge pricing by app-based taxi aggregators in the national capital region.
It would be interesting to track how the officials respond to the letter and what future does the surge pricing practice holds.
Meanwhile, Uber has decided to deactivate dynamic pricing during the odd-even scheme in Delhi, which is to be implemented next month from November 04-15.