Technology is supposed to make life easier. Food, shopping, travelling and finance can be completed with just a click or with a swipe. Technology progressed rapidly in a very short span in ways that did not seem possible till just a while ago. The last couple of years have seen a drastic rise in technology based startups. These startups have helped mankind in every way possible. Or so it seems. Taxi aggregators such as Ola and Uber came as a relief to all those hassled travellers for whom private transport was not an option and who could not get to their destinations using public transport.
Ola and Uber came at a time when public transport was at its worst. Women were gropped, men were robbed and drivers were harsh. Public transport was out of the question, especially after the 2012 Nirbhaya case. Keeping this in mind, these taxi aggregators helped give riders a veil of safety in these dark circumstances. However, the little respite riders got seemed to disappear almost over night. While there are some good drivers with both Ola and Uber, there are a few bad apples in the basket.
“Pepper spray is a must have for me when I use either Ola or Uber for my travels,” says disgruntled user, Nishita. Safety is not just one of the things riders have a problem with these cab aggregators. Rain is a beautiful thing, but when Ola and Uber use it to boost cab prices, then this very rain is far from beautiful. Ride prices surge, drivers turn ugly and the whole situation turns into a B rated movie of sorts.
When Ola was first launched in India, it had two very strong incentives – the first ride free for new users and first ride free for referrals. This gave Ola a very loyal user base from the minute the app launched. Cut to a few months later, Uber tried it’s hand in the Indian marketplace and currently counts India as it’s second largest market. However, the honeymoon phase is over and reality reared its ugly head. What seemed to be a win win situation, in the beginning, has is now become an ugly menace. Several customers have faced multiple issues when trying to commute using such applications.
The cab aggregators while promising a smooth service, cannot be bothered with when it comes to customer care. The result is usually unhappy customers stranded, extorted and disgusted. “I have given up trying to get in touch with Ola’s Customer Care. They always have an automated answer and at the end of the matter, there is never a solution to the matter,” says Anita, a resident of Hyderabad.
Ola and Uber gave travellers everywhere the hope of comfort and travelling without hassles. The world, seen through tinted rose glasses, seems like a beautiful place. However, what happens when these glasses are taken off? Ola and Uber have become a bane rather than a boon and people are tired of being appeased by the nonsense these cab aggregators give in terms of an excuse for their crap service!
An informal survey revealed the obvious. From drivers cancelling rides half way through the ride to creepy advances on the riders, nothing seems to be going in Ola’s or Uber’s favour. It is not just the drivers that have gotten a bad name. Back end service does not work right, the arrival time is always sketchy and drivers are rude, arrogant and abusive. Buck up Ola and Uber, it is time to get your act together and give us the service you promised! We are not the unsophisticated cave dwellers you clearly seem to think we are. Own up. Take responsibility. Drive our lives back into the happy world it used to be in the beginning, because honestly if you keep this up, we will not be the loyal customers we have been so far.