Now that Ola has already played with its ‘foreign card’ on Uber, Meru which was silent for some time, has also entered the comments war. The New Delhi-based, radio taxi aggregator has accused Uber in its recent blog post to be a ‘law breaker’ and ‘a company which monetises on price-play.’
The blog post is an attempt to confront Uber on the basis of the blog post by Bhavik Rathod, Uber’s general manager of South and West in India.
As mentioned by Meru,
“Their play book globally is the same: First break the law – then use billions of dollars of funding to kill the competition through unrealistic and predatory pricing to consumers and massive incentives to drivers – then if regulators react to any violation of laws, create huge social media campaigns using the consumer base created through subsidised pricing to put pressure on regulators to change the laws.”
It further adds,
“The law clearly mandates that All India Tourist Taxi Permit (AITP) cabs can’t be used for point to point service within a city. But does it matter? Uber actively encourages the drivers to buy an AITP car (to avoid local taxi regulation) and ply within city.”
The blog post also highlights the history of Uber pointing out how it is breaking rules since its entry into Indian markets in 2013uy.
“Reserve Bank of India mandated two factor authentication for all online payments way back in 2010. In 2013, a hugely funded company called Uber enters India with a payment system that does not adhere to 2FA and calls it a great technology innovation. This isn’t even some smart method of finding a loophole in the RBI guidelines but a blatant breach of the law of the land. RBI took almost a year to finally call their bluff and forcefully put a full stop to this violation,” as said in an statement by Meru.
Uber has also been accused for not paying service tax, putting diesel cabs on road (only CNG cabs are allowed since April 2001), not allotting taxi badges to drivers in Mumbai (which is mandatory as per local rules) and surge pricing during peak hours.
The blog ends with the Paris Court verdict which found Uber guilty of misleading commercial practices’ and ‘complicity in the illegal exercise of the taxi profession’. It was then fined €800,000 for running UberPOP service that used drivers without professional license and also held two of their top execs personally liable. “This clearly demonstrates that the leading European democracies do not allow the moneybags to make a mockery of the law.”
Post the debate between Ola and Uber over the court ruling, Ola’s chief operating officer, Pranay Jivrajka had also came out with a blog where he highlighted similar things.