The latest UK addition to the ride-hailing market, Ola, has used it’s terms and conditions to issue a advise to women who wish to use their service to book a ride.
The Indian app giants advised UK women “to use their own prudence in offering or accepting a ride” which has been described as “disturbing” by the chair of the work and Pensions Select Committee, Sky News first reported.
Women have also been advised “to share the ride details with family, friends and relatives.”
Approached for comment by Sky News, Ola has said the warning was put on the UK website by mistake and only applies to a specific car-pooling service they offer only in India.
The fact that it was included in the UK terms and Conditions list, whether intentionally or not, has raised major concerns surrounding the licensing processing of such apps.
During the vetting process for such apps to be licensed, authorities have a duty of care to assess all aspects of a business model, which should include the Terms and Conditions, before signing off on a new service. Both Cardiff City Council and Bristol Council said they didn’t check the them before granting a licence to Ola.
Cardiff City Council and Bristol City Council both granted a five-year licence.
Veteran MP Frank Field has now called for a reform of the licensing system for ride-hailing apps and has said that such Terms and Conditions which highlight a risk to vulnerable women should be at least raising “eyebrows” of those in power of handing out operators licenses.
He called the findings “really, really disturbing” and now wants a “swift response from the government.”