Wednesday, February 11, 2015

New "trick" in town

At the best of times, Gurgaon can be quite a maddening place. Sometimes, you shrug and move on when you face some irritant like an idiot driving on the wrong side or a big hole where your road should have been. At other times, you just get mad. That happened to me yesterday. 

My brother was in town and he had an early morning flight out. We called a Meru cab at 12:00 a.m to take him to the airport. I got a call from the driver at 11:20 saying he would reach soon. I told him to come by 12:00 and that the traveler was planning to leave by 12:10-12:15. Just as we were getting ready to walk downstairs, at 12:17, we got an automated call from Meru saying the driver informed them that we no longer wanted to travel, hence the booking had been cancelled. I panicked and called Meru, and they assigned me another cab. I was, of course, worried that the second cab wouldn't reach in time. 

However, within a minute or so, the original cabbie called and told me he was still there! So, essentially, he had lied to Meru that we didn't want to travel, and then called me to say he was there, with the expectation that we needed the cab badly enough that we would be relieved he was there and use him anyway. That way, he would make the full amount instead of just a percentage, from Meru. Luckily, the second assigned cab arrived soon and we didn't have to use the first guy. In the process though, we lost a lot of time and spent an hour stressing about whether or not my brother would make it in time for his flight.

On the one hand, I understand that cabbies don't make a lot of money. They need more to make ends meet, and this "little" deception is how they add to their income. Meru is a big company with lots of money, and the occasional cancellation won't hurt them. I don't know what it's like to be in the cab driver's shoes, so I'm uncomfortable sitting on my high horse and judging him. However, it is stuff like this - these little deceptions and the "chalta hai" attitude of people that has seeped into our culture to a point that one is forced to be constantly on guard and suspicious of everyone, even the good guys. Isn't it tiring not to be able to trust people, their honesty, and their competence? 

I don't know how much Meru can be blamed for this incident - they responded well enough on the phone, though I'm yet to hear from them on the complaint I lodged. Till companies have stronger processes to safeguard the customer against being cheated by their staff, and till people develop a stronger sense of honesty, I guess it's up to each customer to be alert and suspicious. After all, this is Gurgaon!

1 comment:

Jyoti Dabas said...

Hey good on you to not use the services of the first one despite the emergency. Its not just honesty but 'i can get away with this' attitude which prevails our society. Everybody wants to one up the system. Thats the difference between the developed countries and us. Its also the sad reality of living in India - 'buyer beware' :/