HIGHLIGHT "App-based cab Operator "UBER"s pathetic services and unethical praticses.

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Remember we had  cab operators like  MERU, Easy Cab and Tab Cab till a couple of years ago ? Where are they today? These cabs were well patronized by the Mumbai passengers. In the beginning these cabs were giving good services. Later, they started taking people for “a real jolly ride”, by becoming so unreliable and uneconomical too. Most importantly, their drivers were  literally cheating and misguiding the passengers by ditching them at the eleventh hour by not turning up to pick the passengers up and leaving them in the lurch. As services deteriorated, Mumbai citizens stopped using these cabs . And, today these operators have become mere names and history. They – especially “MERU which showed big promises – are not to be seen anywhere in the vicinity of Mumbai and satellite towns , today. They are as good as vanished .

Then came in App-bases cab operators , UBER and OLA. For the last two to three years they were much patronized and most sought after by the  people of Mumbai and satellite towns, for their comfort, prompt services, reliability,   behavior of drivers  and above all economical fares. But, sadly these have become shortlived  with their services becoming bad to worse, day by day.  That, of late for the last few months,  services, especially of UBER have become extremely pathetic and unethical too.  There have been complaints by many passengers of “excess charging”,  debiting cancellation fees to passengers for no fault from their side but drivers cancelling the trip at their whims and fancy, arrogant and unreliable approach of UBER drivers etc. Above all, shockingly and to utter surprise of all, UBER have no user friendly communication system, no customer support email IDs, no details of executives to be contacted, no call centres to speak to and lodge complaints . This is most atrocious as today even banks, telephone and mobile companies, airline companies,  network communication companies and so on, have not only email IDs to address the complaints but also have call centres to register complaints and contact  the executives concerned.  And, they all respond promptly to mails and on calls and resolve the issues immediately.

But UBER has just one app. to post complaints under “HELP” and this is totally unfriendly and  complaints are by and large, treated as closed just by sending routine and standard replies.

Under “UBER complaints” page on facebook, there are hundred and hundreds of complaints posted. But I doubt whether even a single official of UBER  has ever had  a courtesy to look at these complaints.  For space constraints I am not reproducing these complaints. But these are very serious in nature. Especially the cases of “over charging”, debiting cancellation fees to passengers and drivers attitude.

 Today while you book an UBER  for a place you want to visit,  it shows one fare (say around 1200/). But when you reach the destination, the fare exorbitantly and to your shock shoots up to- say @Rs,1600/ ? Even if you have followed the GPS route (as per UBER “rules”) , the fares always go up. This happens  even when you go to known places regularly.  Secondly, the GPS never gets updated . The GPS shows even those routes where the roads are closed or where  major repairs are under progress – due to which one is bound to take  an alternative route. And in such cases too fares go up.  Why can’t UBER keep track of such routes and intimate proper fare that is applicable, at the time of booking itself?

Thirdly, as most of the drivers, nowadays, refuse your trip, they never  “register cancellations” at their end, for obvious reasons. Hence, to book again, passengers are forced to cancel the fist booking in which case, the “cancellation fees” are debited to passengers’ account. This is often not paid back . One has to fight for it. What is rude is that UBER tries to “justify” these wrong fees even when driver details are provided. This is highly atrocious  and unpardonable  of drivers and UBER . UBER must be earning a lot of  revenue just by “over charging” and “cancellation fees”  than from the operational fares !!

Above all and most importantly, UBER , as an MNC Company, having PAN India presence (& globally too), must have a user and customer friendly  email IDs, contacts of executives and  grievance and service centres and numbers to lodge complaints and get necessary solutions. UBER in this context, is very conveniently dodging complaints from passengers with clear intention to mop of revenue through overcharging and fees. They need to learn from other service related operators and companies and have a honest and fool proof system in place to redress customer complaints. Importantly, they need to discipline their drivers too. Incidentally, I learn that in some countries outside India, UBER do have service and call centres and resolution process exclusively for passenger complaints. So, why not INDIA?

If there is NO intention and commitment from UBER to improve the services and change their approach towards passengers, the day is not far off, when people of Mumbai and satellite cities will totally stop patronising and using UBER . And that will be the end of UBER in Mumbai and India too.  And it is  not impossible to throw UBER out .

Many passengers have already decided to make out a petition against UBER’s pathetic services and unethical practices and send to the Union Transport Minister and PMO. And, also start an association/ campaign against UBER to lodge complaints through consumer bodies. Its now or never to discipline UBER on the whole.

S.KRISHNA KUMAR



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