Cab service from hell
At the best of times, I have low expectations from businesses in India when it comes to customer service. But you tend to expect a bit more from an international organization. I had heard horror stories about Uber drivers (especially in India) and, in Dubai, I prefer to use Careem that tends to not only have better options but also have better customer service. With great trepidation, I did download the Uber app (again using an Indian number this time) as well as Paytm (a boon in a fraught ATM scenario) during my recent trip to Delhi only because it gives me the option for cashless payments and the convenience of using my app.
In my first attempt to book a cab through the app, I got lucky. I got a really nice, cab driver, switched on and, thought to myself, this is not going to be so bad. Wrong. It was just downhill from there. The next couple of times, I tried booking a cab for myself, for friends (albeit from Amity outside Delhi) it took more than one attempt to get one. Not sure how the app works from the driver’s end but don’t they have the option to say no? Don’t they get to see where the passenger wants to go before they say yes?
I had one guy that asked me to cancel the trip AFTER I spoke to him and he decided he was not going to take the trip. So, I get charged and he gets rewarded for being an a**e.
I know it’s convenient and much better than standing by the kerb waiting for a cab to deign to take us where we want to go. I thought that even though it’s a private, contracted partnership with car owners/drivers, there would be a basic training and standards that need to be maintained by drivers.
My experience last night was appalling. I got a cab to go to a book launch and the driver was all over the place trying to get to mine. I found out ₹484 later (which did get refunded when I sent a request through the app) that (a) he has a smart phone where the Uber App doesn’t work and has no maps and (b) he has just moved to Delhi and does not know any of the roads anyway. I was furious and late. So I thought perhaps we could use my app to at least navigate. But thanks to Airtel 4G lag, the connection with the Uber app had so much lag, I did not get updates fast enough. I had to turn around and come back so I would not prolong the agony and get truly lost.
And I understand that Ola (the only other taxi alternative) is just as bad, if the comments and reviews on the app are to be believed.
I say bring back the old-fashioned cabs in India, teach them Paytm until you train these guys properly. Or better still, Careem, can you expand to India, please, and show them what customer service is?