/Failing to refund overcharged sum lands cab aggregators in a soup

Failing to refund overcharged sum lands cab aggregators in a soup

(This story originally appeared in on Dec 25, 2020)

The recently set up Central Consumer Protection Authority (CCPA) will send show cause notices to taxi aggregators on the complaints of not refunding the overcharged amount even after accepting their mistakes and adding the refund amount to wallets or issuing coupons rather than paying back the amount to the customer.

Sources said the authority is also examining the issues of non-refund of air ticket price in case of cancellations and adding the refund amount to wallets. They added that in such cases, CCPA will write to the civil aviation regulator, DGCA, to address the issue. Recently, it had referred reports of adulterated honey to the food safety regulator, FSSAI for necessary action.

Addressing a discussion on the occasion of National Consumer Day on Thursday, CCPA commissioner, Nidhi Khare, who is also additional secretary in the consumer affairs ministry, said there have been some instances of taxi aggregators charging more fare that what had got reflected in their app while booking cabs. She said when the consumers raised a complaint, the aggregators agreed to pay back through coupons. Khare added that this is a case of unfair trade practice and consumers should have the choice of whether to get the cash back or take a coupon.

Though CCPA has the power to recommend class action suits in cases which impact a section of consumers, Khare said the authority will take any such step only after having a solid case that can stand in any court of law. “The main aim is to send a message to sellers, service providers and consumers that the authority is keeping a close watch on anyone taking consumers for a ride. The business entities should ensure that they protect consumers’ interest,” said a source.

Meanwhile, CCPA on Thursday sent a show cause notice to the CEO of company manufacturing bathroom and toilet cleaner seeking response to its claim of a product “effective against Coronavirus” and killing the virus.

Recently, it had sent notices to a reputed RO purifier manufacturer and a wall paint company for making similar claims in their advertisements.

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