First, we had published this post about how Ms Sunita D’souza was not sent a cab inspite of the booking. And now we have received Rajyashree Iqbal’s review of their poor service lat evening, published below. Send in your submissions to us at firstname.lastname@example.org
When MumbaiMag first published my blog post on the service provided by radio cab services in Mumbai, I did not imagine I would have another bad experience with another cab service this soon. Here is the experience:
On Jan 1, I booked a cab for half a day (local) for Jan 2 19:00 hrs. Booking id: 1551922. To begin with, the cab arrived half an hour late. I was scheduled to go to Nariman Point from Andheri W. My designated driver was one Mr. Shekhawat. I got to my destination and told him will call him when we need to head back. At 11:16 pm, I called the driver only to find out that his phone was unreachable. I called five times in all till 11:24pm to get the same status. So, I called the Ola call center and told them of the situation and requested them to try and reach the cabbie. They put me on hold for many minutes only to tell me that, they are coordinating with their Ops teams and will call me back with a status. I stood there waiting, close to midnight, but did not hear back from them. SO, I called them back, this time, agitated and annoyed at having to wait on the road side, close to midnight, with no clarity on if or not I am going to take the engaged cab back home.
On calling the second time, I demanded to speak to the on duty manager, and a gentleman called Sameer came on the line saying they are also getting the same message of ‘number not reachable’, and I should take the next best available option. In sheer frustration, I gave him a piece of my mind and hailed a local yellow-black cab.
At 11:41pm, I get a call from the driver, who feigns complete ignorance about me trying to call him but instantly states that the cab was parked right outside the exit gate, so how could I have not spotted it? I asked him, why he had not come up to where I waited, also at the exit gate, for 35 minutes while trying to reach his number? Informed him that I had left and he should speak to his office for further clarity. Ten minutes later he started calling me (11:50pm, 11:51pm and another call at 11:51pm) which I did not pick up. In the mean time, I called back the Ola call center and requested Sameer to please ask the driver to not call me as this is harassment! He tries to give me the spiel of procedure etc. to which I tried to reason with him that if I took the effort of booking a day in advance, that too for half a day and then I reach out to them saying I can’t reach the cabbie, and it’s close to midnight, why would I make anything of the sort up? Plus, they tried themselves and could not reach him while I waited before taking a local cab. And I again reiterated that he needs to get the driver to stop calling me and that it was harassment! He reluctantly agrees.
Then comes the grand finale of ‘good service’ by Ola…the driver calls again (at 11:58pm), I take the call to repeat that he needs to stop calling me and speak to the office instead. He starts to yell at me and accuses me of not paying, and how he needs to speak to me and not the company. His tone, very harsh, high pitched and aggressive! I hang up and call the Ola call center yet again (at 11:59pm) and ask to speak to Sameer. I am put on hold for many more minutes and then told by a gentleman called Vinay that Sameer was off the shift, but by then, he knew me by name and knew of the situation. My gut told me, that while I was on hold, he had been briefed by Sameer but then I had to pick my battles between an unwilling manager attending to an irate customer or an aggro driver calling repeatedly, needless to say, I picked the latter and was told by Vinay, he shall speak to the driver and ask him not to call me. I thanked Vinay and told him that I walked into a trap of poor service by booking an Ola cab and I’m regretting it. Thankfully, I did not get another call from the driver!
My suggestions to the Ola Cabs team:
1. Listen to the customer and not just attend to a phone call reading out your call script.
2. Instead of adopting a CYA approach like Sameer tried (procedure etc.), use common sense and empathize with the customer (esp if it is a lady customer calling you more than once close to midnight asking for intervention).
3. Be pro active in your problem solving and offer to make good instead of handing out empty words of apology. They don’t help at the time, but only infuriate the customer. Esp. when it is an odd hour like in this instance.
4. I get that the networks can be jammed, but if something like this has been brought to your attention, take the initiative to contact the driver and brief him of the situation. Would you not have a trained objection handler speak to an irate customer than a yelling, aggro driver?
5. Last but not the least, please bear highest in mind that you are offering a service and not functioning like an unauthorized collection outfit, which is how the driver sounded in his last call at 11:58pm.
It is not about the money, but about the experience! And why would someone risk one’s safety for a few hundred rupees? Surely, you can appreciate that fact, or is that too much to ask too?
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