Hailing a cab might seem like a hassle free process which is just a tap away. Turns out, it is not as simple as that! City folks confess of having had terrible experiences with cab drivers who cancel trips based on drop locations. We chronicle the angst of daily commuters who let us in on harrowing instances of cabbies leaving them high and dry.
Jikky Ann John, a marketing executive in a private firm, recalls one such instance. “I booked a cab from BTM to MG Road. After a wait time of 8-10 minutes my cab arrived at the pick-up point. Before staring the trip the driver asked me where my destination was. When I told him it’s MG Road he told me he cannot go there. I was late and I didn’t want to get into an argument, I asked him to cancel the ride because a cancellation fee of Rs 50 would be levied from my account if I did it. He refused to and insisted that I do it myself. We did eventually end up having an argument but he had no option other than cancelling it himself.”
Most cab drivers call the customers before arriving at the destination to find where they are headed to. If it is a far off location or one that is known for heavy traffic, they either cancel the ride or ask the customers to cancel it themselves.
Vikas Viru, a budding-artist based out of Bengaluru, often uses cabs as a means of transportation. He says, “I take cabs almost on a daily basis. On several instances, after booking the cab and the drivers confirming the ride, I have received calls from the driver asking where I am headed to. To recall one of the most recent incidents, I booked a cab from Jayanagar to Whitefield and the cab driver who had accepted the trip called me enquiring where the drop location was.
When I told him it’s Whitefield he told me he won’t be coming and cancelled the trip. Some of them call to find out whether the payment is cash or non-cash too. When I say non-cash they hesitate and sometimes even refuse to come.”
There have also been instances when the cab drivers do not inform the customers about the fact that they won’t be taking up the ride, leaving the customers stranded and unaware.
Nithyashree Tulasiram, a graphic designer, had a similar experience when she booked an auto from Indiranagar to HAL. She narrates, “When I booked the auto it showed a wait time of one minute but the auto wasn’t moving and neither did the driver call me with any queries.
Five minutes later, when I called him to check where he was, he told me he was on his way. A few minutes later he called me again to ask where the destination was and then asked me to cancel the trip because he didn’t want to come. I was furious about the fact the he made me wait so long and I was charged Rs 50 for cancellation. I did write to them but I did not get a refund.”
Commenting on the matter, an Ola spokesperson says, “Ola has always worked towards operating an equitable platform that ensures affordable and convenient rides for customers with fair policies for drivers. Cancellation fee is levied only under certain conditions so as to compensate drivers for the time, effort and fuel spent in order to reach the pickup location. Our robust systems in place ensure proper adjudication of scenarios is undertaken before levying cancellation charges so neither the customer nor the driver-partner is unfairly treated. We continue to work towards bettering the platform to build a safe, affordable and convenient mobility ecosystem for a billion people.”