It was Raksha Bandhan eve with beautiful weather and drizzling outside.
Unaware of all this, someone was passionately working in office at a place in the heart of Delhi, until phone rang. There was a call from family and as usual there was a demand to be home in time, specially because some pre-festival things were to be taken care.
She: “Tomorrow is Raksha Bandhan and we got to do something. How soon can we expect you?”
An obedient He, looking at watch that showed 7pm, realized that he didn’t carry the car today, so he needed to take the cab, calculated 45 mins of transit time and confidently said, “Well, I should be home by 8pm”.
He was too sure of OLA… which was the “mistake”.
And it started a chapter of experiencing worst of the services and customer servicing from much hyped cab aggregator company, OLA.
He tried to book the cab but found no cab for quite some time. Seems there was an event rush which the company could not manage.
Anyway, after continuous refreshes for 23 mins, he finally got one cab at 7:23pm (CRN: 350954108; Driver #1: Vinod) at 1.5x price. He was happy, after all he had to reach home early. Hence he accepted the booking.
Cab was scheduled to arrive in 10 mins so he finished his emails and quickly got ready to catch it.
Soon 10 mins got over but there was no cab so he called the cab driver. Driver asked him where is the drop and he truthfully told, “It’s Noida”.
The driver probably found the drop little far, (25 kms to be precise), and he may have thought that he might not complete his daily ride targets. So he decided and communicated not to carry on with this ride. Anyway, he requested the driver to cancel the ride so that system could get him another cab.
Surprisingly, soon after he got the message that the driver had arrived and waiting. No prizes to guess, the drive was bluffing with the system. And later driver canceled the ride stating the passenger had denied to board.
He was unhappy but left with no option, called the Ola contact center, where he was treated very well. Agent assured him to get another cab. He was indeed reassigned a new cab and SMS arrived (Driver #2 Rohit: 19:39pm).
This driver, probably didn’t like him as well, and denied to pick this ride, and hence the ride moved to another cab (Driver #3: Deepak Kumar).
This driver, again didn’t like him as well, and refused to pick this ride, and hence the ride moved to another cab (Driver #4: Kamal).
He was truly impressed with automatic technology and how the drivers were getting changed one after another. But Alas, he was not allowed to enjoy the weather, the cab driver #4, also chose to cancel the ride.
He again called the contact center. This time contact center shared their all the technology challenges and why couldn’t they revive or reassign the ride to another cab any further. He was clueless on what to do.
He somehow managed to reach CP by taking lift from a friend, thinking of getting better cab connectivity but here as well the situation was same. He waited and refreshed continuously for quite some time to get another cab.
He managed another cab with new CRN: 351086146 and a cab (Driver #5: Ravi) was assigned. Time was now 8.30pm. Ravi was an innocent driver who didn’t know the tricks of the trade. Hence he agreed to take him home.
After couple of miles, driver disclosed the cab didn’t have enough gas and requested for 30 to 45 mins break for getting fuel tank refilled. Thinking of family, he didn’t agree to spend that much extra time with the driver. May be he thought of spending that time with better people around.
On enquiring why did the driver accept the ride, the driver disclosed that if he had cancelled the ride, he would have got penalized. Hence, he had accepted the ride first and informed later. He was not innocent but an extra smart driver.
Clear cut process lapse at Ola
Driver even informed the same to contact center and hence no option left but to terminate the ride mid way.
He stepped out and realized mobile data was not working. He called the Ola customer service and told the whole story.
As usual the robotic Ola service team had nothing more to do than apologize. They could not book cab on his behalf, “You know technical challenges”, and recommended to find “some place” where the data network is available to run Ola app, otherwise manage by yourself.
Clear cut shrugging off the responsibility.
How can the company leave the passenger mid way without any option?
He travelled around and found a pocket where he could get the Ola app working. He again booked the ride [CRN: 351120106] and cab Driver #6: Manjeet) was scheduled to come in 7 mins.
He waited and kept an eye on number plate of every vehicle and in time there was a cab bearing same number as given in the SMS and Ola App. He stopped the cab and told him about booking. Driver confirmed the name and asked the magical question: “Where is the drop”.
And you know! This driver also refused to honor the booking by saying he had not received any such booking. Even giving the reference number didn’t work. Calling the driver from the app landed on his mobile but he probably had another agenda in mind so he quietly pedalled the accelerator and moved on.
He was standing on the road, “enjoying” the weather, clicking pics of isolated place, again tried the luck and called the contact center for help, but as usual, contact center refused to help any further.
He kept trying to book more cabs and finally found a cab (Driver #7: Satish). Cab came after 10 mins as promised that took him home safely. He happily reached home at 10pm.
Took 2 extra hours but had lots of learning.
Ola doesn’t care how many times the ola drivers ditch. 6 extra times here.
Ola doesn’t care how much time you wasted because of Ola booking and cancellations. 2 extra hours here.
Driver doesn’t mind leaving the passengers mid way at lonely place and Ola doesn’t take the responsibility of in-transit passengers, even if they charge 1.5x fee.
When someone has accepted to pay 1.5x charge to take cab to reach home, why wouldn’t Ola take the responsibility of in-transit passenger? Who would be responsible for time waste and harassment mid-way?
This is the story of every common person using Ola cab services. Currently almost every ride that people try, on an average one driver ditches. It is happening with almost all commuters every day.