Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Easy Cabs: Cancellation without notice

This is a slightly old issue which has already been resolved.

I never had the need to book a radio taxi in Mumbai with either my own vehicle or the regular kalli-pilli (black and yellow) taxi's/rickshaws being available. On two occasions friends from outside of Mumbai asked me to book a cab on their behalf and its only then that I realised that one 'should not rely on them'.

After spending a year in the UK, I got used to the very convenient, prompt and relatively cheap radio taxi service and was a bit shocked with the service in Mumbai. Meru, Easy Cabs and Mega Cabs are companies that are the most popular in this arena. I was a little taken aback at the difficulty of getting through to their call centres, the honey-voiced lady asking me to press numbers on my keypad and the atrocious music one has to tolerate before you finally get through to an attendant. I was more used to the bored Indian/Pakistani picking up the phone in 2 rings and telling me '10 minutes' before hanging up. What also surprised me is that all three companies turned down my request citing unavailability of cabs.

With this incident behind me, I had to once more book a taxi for a another friend. Meru once again turned me down saying they are full (do they seriously get so much business?) but Easy Cabs took up the job and confirmed the booking. My friend had instructed me to give them a call half an hour before the scheduled time of arrival to double check on their status. With my UK experience still fresh, I doubted that it would be necessary and was confident that the cab would arrive on time. I yet put the call through, reminding myself 'this is India' and was utterly disgusted to know that the company had conveniently cancelled my booking, 15 minutes before the scheduled arrival. The executive also mentioned that a communication for the same had been given, which I have not seemed to receive. When I argued the executive maintained fort that communication was sent and nothing could be done.

The good old kalli-piili's once more came to my rescue but this incident pinched me. I decided to blast them over over Twitter but was not expecting any kind of outcome. Surprisingly, @EasyCabsIn replied back asking me for my booking identification number which was provided for. A lady later called me back and spoke 5 lines faster than a Rajdhani on adrenaline. The only words I captured was 'sorry' ' communicated' 'you' 'wont happen'. Although I cant be very sure, I suspect that the lady was holding ground that the communication was sent but she is still sorry.

Issue summary:
1. Long waiting to get through call centres
2. Always 'full'
3. Cancellation without notice

Although the cancellation was uncalled for, Easy Cabs managed the crisis well, took the efforts to acknowledge the mistake and apologised. In future if I do ever need a radio taxi again, Easy Cabs would still be my first choice as against Meru who never seem to be available.

Share any of your Radio Taxi experiences, good or bad, in the comments section below.

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