When I sat down to write this post, the title I chose was “The Rise of Ola cabs and the mafia of cab drivers dwelling in it”. May be that would have been a bit of exaggeration but it would be partly true. Last night, we almost got beaten by an Ola cab driver and his friends near Jyoti Niwas College, Koramangala, Bangalore. Yes you heard it right! We almost got beaten!! Read on to find out what happened.
I joined Ola Cabs in December last year and have been a happy customer until now. I have also been promoting Ola Cabs because of their good service and till now through my blog and social media, I have referred more than 200 new commuters who have joined Ola and most of them are now using Ola Cabs services. You can read my Ola Cabs review Here.
Last night I went out for dinner with my friends near Jyoti Niwas College, Koramangala, Bangalore. We had a few beer and food at the Tibet Mall but were surely not drunk. It was past midnight and I booked Ola Cab as usual and the drive turned up on time near Empire Hotel. We told driver that we have to go to Ejipura first (which is not more than 1KM from there) to drop my friend and then to Mico Layout, Begur Road. To this the driver asked us to complete the trip at Ejipura and then book again and he will be available again. But that would cost us an extra Rs80/- since we will have to make another booking. These drivers are probably paid by Ola based on the number of trips they make in a day. When we refused, the driver started misbehaving and finally told us to get out of his Car. We were shocked. May be he thought we were drunk and he could get away with it.
There is still more. When we got out of the cab my friend perhaps pressed the door a little harder than usual as most people sometimes do. The driver rushed towards us in fury and shouted “Yeh saath lakh ka gaadi hai, tera baap ka nahin hai” (it’s a seven lakh car, not your family property). When my friend replied “saath chodo, mein mahiney mein bees lakh kamata hun” (forget about seven lakh, I earn 20 lakh in a month), the driver rushed towards my friend as if he was going to punch him. I was able to barge in and stop but there were a few other (drivers perhaps) with him in his support. I quickly pulled my friends and walked further as it could have turned into a mob beating. They didn’t even care that we had a lady with us.
Driver Name: Venkatash
Vehicle Number: KA03 AC1909
When we reached a few meters away I immediately booked another cab and got in it. The driver and his friends saw us getting into another cab and kept constantly calling our driver. I explained our driver what happened and he sounded supportive but still we couldn’t trust him either after what happened. We were at the edge of our seats till we reached near home. When we reached, just to play safe we got down a few yards away from our house and in a different lane so that he wouldn’t know where we live.
And to add above all, I got an invoice for the previous booking – Rs.80/- Wow! Cherry on the cake!!
I don’t know if we were treated this way because of our race (we are Tibetans, we look like north east) or may be he assumed we were drunk. Either way, it shows the very dark side of the rather popular Ola Cabs.
This is the most horrible experience I ever had with any cab or even auto driver. I decided to do this post so that people understand that you can never trust Ola cabs completely. I have traveled in Ola cabs late night and always felt safe (if the Ola people are reading this, they can see my booking records) but not anymore. Ola is growing at an unprecedented pace but if they continue to employ drivers like Venkatesh, it will destroy the company someday. It is drivers like him who will rob or rape someone someday. If Ola doesn’t take necessary action against such drivers, they will lose loyal customers like myself.
I take the entire incidence as nothing personal between myself and the driver but rather hold Ola responsible for the entire incidence. To me this is the beginning of an end of a beautiful relationship I used to share with Ola Cabs until now. And many will follow if Ola continues to keep its focus on growing and not on customer service and experience.
The humiliation and the terrible experience we went through is going to haunt us for a long long time.
Never trust Ola Cabs!!