Such taxIng rides

While most people prefer taking cabs to beat the traffic, and reach destinations faster, today’s cab ride might just depend on luck! There have been several instances where cabbies have taken customers for a ride, refusing to follow instructions entered by customers, while relying solely on Google Maps. With the rise in such instances, customers aren’t very happy about such diktats, and neither are cabbies willing to listen!

Maria Ezekiel, a HR head with Kings Group says, “Having to catch a train at 8 pm, I booked a cab from Yelahanka to city railway station at 6:15 pm. An easier way to reach is through Shivananda Circle but the driver took a diversion towards Malleswaram which was longer and more complicated. When I redirected him, he told me he is following a route on the map and cannot deviate. Eventually, I reached the station and my train had departed. When I tried contacting customer service, I realised that they don’t have a mail ID or a phone number. The complaints can only be raised in the app.”

An absolute lack of regard for a customer’s opinion is only one of the many problems faced. Anjali Augustine, a consultant at an audit firm is irked by the cold attitude of cab drivers, “It happens at least once a week, the reason being the Electronic City toll charges. The toll amount is deducted from our account, and it reflects on the bill but drivers are unwilling to understand. Either they refuse to pay the toll, forcing me to pay it twice, or we have an argument despite me showing the deduction from my account. When I raised a complaint, I got a refund the first few times, but later they sent me a message saying I wasn’t supposed to pay the driver as it was a non-cash trip. But, what choice did I have?”

The mystery of why the estimate fares shoot up at the end of the trip is one we are yet to discover. Jilson J, a lead logistics specialist at Target Corporation, shares, “I took a cab to Koramangala from Indiranagar a few days ago. When I booked the cab, it showed me an estimate of `120-`150. Upon reaching the destination, when the driver ended the trip, the fare was above `500!  Though we got a refund after raising a complaint on the app, it was troublesome. We weren’t carrying enough money in hand, and we had to rush to the nearest ATM which was half a kilometre away.”

Commenting on the matter, an Ola spokesperson says, “The pricing on the Ola platform is reflected upfront in the app and can be seen by a customer before confirming rides. The estimated fare shown before confirming a ride changes only when the app registers a deviation from the suggested route. The difference amount is then adjusted in the final bill. The pricing shown in the Ola app is aligned with the routes suggested by Google maps, and the Ola app adopts the most time-effective route. Hence, sometimes, the route that one sees on their Ola app may be longer but he might take the shortest time.”

Responding to complaints regarding driver's attitude he adds, “Upon receiving any complaint, a driver is off-roaded and a detailed investigation is done basis the complaint raised by the customer. If he/she is found guilty, the driver loses his access to log into the Ola platform.”

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