emember we had cab operators like Meru, Easy Cab and Tab Cab till a couple of years ago? Where are they today? These cabs were well patronised by the Mumbai passengers. In the beginning, these cabs were giving good services. Later, they started taking people for “a real jolly ride”, by becoming so unreliable and uneconomical too. Most importantly, their drivers were literally cheating and misguiding the passengers by ditching them at the eleventh hour by not turning up to pick the passengers up and leaving them in the lurch. As services deteriorated, Mumbai citizens stopped using these cabs. And, today these operators have become mere names and history. They – especially Meru which showed big promises – are not seen anywhere in the vicinity of Mumbai and satellite towns, today. They are as good as vanished.
Then came in App-based cab operators — Uber and Ola. For the last two to three years, they were much patronised and most sought after by the people of Mumbai and satellite towns, for their comfort, prompt services, reliability, behaviour of drivers and above all, economical fares. But, sadly these have become short-lived with their services becoming bad to worse, day by day. In the last few months, services, especially of Uber have become extremely pathetic and unethical too. There have been complaints by many passengers of “excess charging”, debiting cancellation fees to passengers for no fault from their side but drivers cancelling the trip at their whims and fancy, arrogant and unreliable approach of Uber drivers etc. Above all, shockingly and to utter surprise of all, Uber have no user-friendly communication system, no customer support email IDs, no details of executives to be contacted, no call centres to speak to and lodge complaints . This is most atrocious as today even banks, telephone and mobile companies, airline companies, network communication companies and so on, have not only email IDs to address the complaints but also have call centres to register complaints and contact the executives concerned. And, they all respond promptly to mails and on calls and resolve the issues immediately.
But Uber has just one app to post complaints under “HELP” and this is totally unfriendly and complaints are by and large, treated as closed just by sending routine and standard replies.
Under “Uber complaints” page on Facebook, there are hundreds and hundreds of complaints posted. But I doubt, whether even a single official of Uber has ever had a courtesy to look at these complaints. For space constraints I am not reproducing these complaints. But these are very serious in nature. Especially the cases of “over charging”, debiting cancellation fees from the passengers and the drivers’ attitude.
(This is the first part of the Diary and the later part to be continued tomorrow.)
(The views expressed by the author in the article are his/her own.)