Cabbies fight back!

DECCAN CHRONICLE | BALAJEE C R
Published Jan 12, 2016, 12:56 am IST
Updated Jan 12, 2016, 12:59 am IST
The balance of power is shifting in the world of taxis.
Drivers are now able to rate their customers (Representational image)
 Drivers are now able to rate their customers (Representational image)

When mobile app-based cab companies came into existence, people felt that it would bring a welcome relief from arguing incessantly with auto drivers. Further, it was convenient to rate the cab drivers based on their professionalism and conduct, without having to argue with them.


But in spite of all that, we tend to forget that our own conduct can be off-putting and sometimes even annoying! So, to even the playing game, cab companies have their own rating system for customers — which we don’t really take seriously. In fact, many are unaware that the cab drivers are also sizing up the customers. While companies like Uber have transparent rating in their apps, some other companies opt to keep the customer rating concealed.

 


To find out more, DC got in touch with some of the chauffeurs and a few frequent cab users, to get an understanding on this. “We always try to be professional and pleasant with the customers. But, if a person creates problems unnecessarily, I make sure that none of my colleagues undergo what I suffer,” says A. Karthik, a cab driver of a leading company. Further, he recalled one instance during which he was pushed to give bad remarks about one particularly nit-picking customer — “Once, I got a middle-aged customer. It took me almost 45 minutes to pick him up as he changed four to five pick-up points every time I called him. During the ride, he kept abusing me, saying that it was my fault. It was very offensive. He is my lowest rated customer till date!”

 


Though this system seems to bridge the differences between the cab drivers and customers, some frequent users remain skeptical. “It’s quite surprising that though I ride cabs regularly, I had no idea that I’m being observed and rated! Many times, I have arrived late to airports as cabs take so much time to pick me up. During such occasions, I vent my frustration at them — won’t that reflect on my ratings?” questions Surya Ganapathy, a model.

Another chauffeur, who didn’t want his name mentioned, feels that this is a good system as it brings transparency. “For sometime, everything used to be  based only on the customer’s point of view. But now our employers have a more balanced view on issues,” he opines.

 

N. Anirudh, who works at an IT company in the city is one of the people who has got blocked by a cab service due to bad ratings from drivers —  thanks to some over-the-top activities inside the cabs... a little too often. “However embarrassing this is, I will admit that I deserved it. In the last few weeks of December I attended a lot of parties and ended up drinking too much on a couple of occasions. Once I threw up in the car and left in a huff. The next time, my girlfriend passed out in the backseat... during such times, unnecessary abuses are exchanged,” he says, sheepishly, adding that his friends still rag him for getting blacklisted by a cab company! “I hope they unblock me eventually.” Think twice before argue with a cabbie!

 

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