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Bengaluru man moves court over defunct cab AC, wins Rs 15,000 | Bengaluru News

BENGALURU: A Bengaluru man sued Ola Cabs co-founder Bhavish Aggarwal for service deficiency after the air-conditioner of the cab he had hired from the aggregator for eight hours didn’t work. A city consumer court that heard his case recently ordered the Ola chief to refund the trip fare and pay a compensation of Rs 10,000 to the customer for causing the trouble, apart from Rs 5,000 towards his court expenses.
On October 18, 2021, Bellandur resident and businessman Vikas Bhusan, 36, booked an Ola Prime sedan on the cab aggregator’s app for a journey of 80km. Promised an air-conditioned vehicle with extra leg room, Bhusan found that during the entire trip in the cab, the AC wasn’t functioning, putting him and his co-passengers in extreme discomfort.
With no option to lodge a complaint during the course of the journey and forced to pay Rs 1,837 as cab fare, the Bengalurean contacted Ola’s customer care soon after, telling the representatives that AC was part of the fare and he needed a refund. But the cab firm representatives told Bhusan that he has been charged as per the rate card and there was no additional charge for AC.
The customer then reached out to Bhavish Aggarwal, Ola’s co-founder and MD of ANI Technologies Pvt. Ltd, which operates Ola Cabs, via emails pointing out that AC was included in the service as per the rate and initial rental agreement. He even tried to reach the honcho on Twitter but got no response on both platforms.
Bhusan then registered a complaint with the National Consumer Helpline on November 11, 2021 pointing out the deficiency in service by Ola and demanded a refund. Finally, Ola in an email accepted that AC was included in the service but refused a refund and instead offered the customer a Rs 100 coupon. This was the tipping point for the Bengaluru businessman, who then approached Bangalore Urban District Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission in Shantinagar on May 2022 with a complaint against Aggarwal, alleging service deficiency. Bhusan presented his case on his own, while Ola’s attorney filed the aggregator’s version only after the stipulated 45-day period and it rejected by the court on November 7, 2022. Meanwhile, the judges examined the customer’s complaint and noted that it was clear from the very admission made on email by the opposite party that they had sent a cab to the customer even though the AC was not functioning in the vehicle and collected the entire amount of Rs 1,837 after the trip.
“Ola is duty-bound to provide all services to customers as promised. In the Bengaluru man’s case, they have caused the customer inconvenience and mental agony without providing AC service for the entire trip period of eight hours,” the judges said, noting that Ola is to blame for deficiency in service and unfair trade practice, and adding that the victim is entitled to relief.
In the verdict pronounced on January 18, 2023, the court ruled that Bhavish Aggarwal must pay a compensation of Rs 10,000 to the customer for causing inconvenience and mental agony. It also directed the opposite party to bear litigation expenses of Rs 5,000 of the complainant, apart from refunding his trip fare of Rs 1,837 with interest.
All amounts must be paid within 60 days of the order, the court said.

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