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Being taken for a ride
There is this cab aggregator whose middle name spells “F”. Once you read this you can decide what that letter stands for. I have been using it almost regularly and slowly but surely the standards began to drop. It reached the pits recently. Let me tell you the pits first, and then the footmarks leading to the pit.

I booked a cab one evening for a journey that I had to make the following morning.  I received a confirmation of the booking. Thirty minutes before the scheduled departure, at 7.15 am, I got a call from the cabbie. I explained to him where we are to travel and that we will leave my home at 7.45 am. Lo and behold, the great man was unwilling.  You see his argument was he would lose 30 minutes time! The unwritten statement was that he might lose rides. Remember the aggregators have become so greedy that they have fixed targets which to achieve would take you to drive at least 16 hours.

I called up the call centre to lodge a complaint because I was tired stiff of their tantrums. Driver refusals, non-arrival of vehicles, fake travels are the increasing order of the firm. And you see “F” never takes complaints seriously. There were times when drivers didn't perform the travel and I would get a text from “F” that I had travelled and was metered for Rs X.  It simply meant that the cabbie had made a fake claim on the company. Like a truthful citizen I would lodge a complaint, would be told I would be updated in 48 hours, but nothing would happen. You get an instant standard automated texted response of how sorry they are, and how they are striving to improve customer satisfaction. This kind of crap I have been subjected to multiple times when their drivers either don't turn up or show rank arrogance while driving, etc. Well let that pass.

I explained to the call centre guy the situation. He began with his standard nonsense of sorrow. When I asked him why do they have a pre-booking option when drivers are unwilling to come, he came out with some fantastic nonsense. The great man told me that they had stopped advance booking!  Apparently a ghost had accepted my booking. When I asked him how my booking got accepted he said it gets accepted automatically!  And he gave me a lecture on technology. You see, I come from the Stone Age. When I asked why they don't disable the advance booking button, it was back to parroting the usual nonsense. That was when I really, really lost my cool with the man. I hate call centre guys who lie. True, they have a tough job.  But they can’t think the whole world is a fool.

There have been equally useless things these guys had done in the past, but let that pass.

I next spoke to another call centre executive moments later and explained to her my conversation with the earlier hero.  I asked her for the email id and phone number of the National Head. Of course she has to be accountable to her company and so refused, saying she would give me an @customercare. I wasn't ready to write to a nameless person. So she gave me a name but said it had to go to the same @customercare id. Wow. For all that I know, she might have dreamt up a name.

On my part I wrote a detailed mail.  I received a standard reply saying “sorry,” that they understood my concern, that they had spoken to the call centre executive, that they were apologetic about it, blah, blah and blah. I replied telling them they understood nothing. They wrote back about how they understood, how they would like to write a detailed letter but couldn't. Can you believe that a customer care section can draft such outrageous crap?  Would have liked to write a detailed letter but couldn't. OMG.

For all this you would have thought that someone from the head office would call.  Ha-ha, fat chance.

I did the next best thing. Moved on. And promised never to  use “F” until it’s a grave emergency. Good for them. They lost a cranky customer.

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