News : Commuters Criticise Lack of Helpline by Cab Aggregators
Bengaluru, India, Oct 31, 2017 -- With finding cabs in the city during peak traffic hours or during rains becoming almost impossible and drivers frequently cancelling trips, customers say the absence of a customer service helpline is only adding to their frustration.
Aggregators, who provide bookings only through apps, insist on customer complaints and queries being raised only through the app. While in non-urgent cases, this is fine, there must be a number to call in case of emergencies not related to passenger safety, users say.
"Once I left my phone in a cab and did not have access to a computer that night. Needless to say, it was a pain trying to get the phone back, as the phone kept ringing but no one picked up. A customer service representative could have called the driver and arranged for me to pick it up," says Arvind T., a resident of Varthur.
While Uber has never advertised a local customer support number, Ola, which used to prominently display its customer support helpline, has slowly withdrawn it from their website as well as their app over the past few months.
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Incidentally, according to the draft regulations recommended by a committee for taxi aggregators last year, it is not necessary for aggregators to have a customer support number as long as they have a functional grievance redressal system and an emergency response centre to handle SOS alerts by passengers — something that both major aggregators in the city have set up.
"The most irritating problems are with payments and with drivers, who make you wait before cancelling the trip. I get charged even when the driver cancels the booking and then there is a long process to find the trip, register your complaint. While once in a while it is okay, these days the frequency of having to file such complaints is increasing," says Ruchi Singh, who works in Manyata Tech Park.
Both Ola and Uber have in-app methods for reporting the most frequent issues, including cancellation fee, driver cancellation, rude behaviour, and unsafe driving. Besides this, they also feature inbuilt SOS buttons, which connect you to a safety team, but users say that they would still prefer to have a helpline to reach out to when they want to explain the situation.
Both Ola and Uber did not respond to a request for comment on the same.
Posted by Veronica Silva Cusi, news correspondent
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Published: Wednesday, November 1, 2017
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