Yesterday’s autorikshaw strike in Mumbai hit the city hard and many had to suffer long waits or long walks in the excruciating heat to reach their destinations. The bright side was that more Mumbaikars became aware of carpooling through #MumCarPool on Twitter, started by us on Sunday to help people coordinate and a also new free service called Smart Mumbaikar was enabled.
Ola Cabs, one of many phone fleet taxi services in Mumbai put up a blog post on their website stating “for the duration of the auto strike, our fares will be equal to the auto fares i.e. we will be charging only Rs 10 per km after the initial base of Rs 100 for the first 10 km. So if you’re stuck somewhere and want to be picked up, just call us on (022) 3355 3355 or go to our website www.olacabs.com and book!”
We are not sure how well did this seemingly helpful gesture work out for Mumbaikars. We received an email from Ms. Sunita Dsouza, working with a production house in Mumbai, last night who had an unpleasant experience with Ola Cabs yesterday.
Writes Sunita, “I booked a cab with Ola Cabs at 12 pm for a 10:30 pm pick up from Bandra (W) to Andheri yesterday. Only to be called at 9:53 pm to be precise by NOT the car company but by the driver to state his car has conveniently broken down.” She continues that he cab driver informed her that “all cabs are busy in South Bombay and he cant provided her a replacement.” Suspecting cabs to be overbooked yesterday because of the auto strike, Sunita mentioned in her email that she had double checked with Ola Cabs twice duing the day to confirm her booking but was still left in the lurch.
While it is appreciable that organisations come forth and offer help during crisis situations in the city, it can sorely backfire for two reasons – one, perhaps the company did not think it through before promising and did not have the right infrastructure or two, it was a marketing gimmick and they just did not care enough to deliver the promise.
All attempts to get in touch with personnel from Ola Cabs have been fruitless. We will be happy to post their point of view on the incident should we be able to get in touch or if they contact us. MumbaiMag also invites other users who may have tried the service yesterday to share their experiences at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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