ArpitGarg's Weblog

An opinion of the world around me

Ola going the Nestle way: Degrading Quality

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 I used to admire Ola a lot. A start-up that solved the commuting headache of evolving India. I have used Ola in metro cities Mumbai, Delhi and have admired their service. Nice ride, with informed drivers. Ola service centre provided good guidelines to the drivers which I think helped them to service customers.

However what I faced recently in Agra, was a very bad experience. I called a cab. A very old and bad looking cab came to pick me up. “How does looks matter. I just need a ride”, thinking this, I got in the cab. Now the cab started shaking as the ride started. At the very first turn, driver then hit a two wheeler which fell down and needed helping to picked up. I realized it was not the drivers fault, the brake was at fault. The car was so old, it was not in a position to run smoothly. Gates opened only on one side, AC was not cooling the cab.

Then came the next part, Driver asked me money for Diesel. Hell! I told him, I have recharged my Ola cash, and couldn’t pay cash. Poor driver didn’t understood what I was talking about. Apparently, cab belonged to some local heavyweight, who run 4-5 cabs with Ola and have hired drivers to drive his cars. This driver didn’t know anything about how Ola cab worked. In fact I have to remind him to click “Start Journey” on his device after 500m or so. And he was like, “Sir kuch upar se de dena 500 m ke, boss gaali dega warna”.

Coming back to the diesel. He stopped the car and called his boss. He told that passenger won’t pay cash and diesel is running out. “Aapne subah bas 3 litre dalwaya tha sir, aur paise bhi nahin diye aapne”. I heard him telling his boss.

Anyway, a shaky ride with me praying at every turn ensued. As I was still to reach the destination, driver stopped again. “Aap yahin pe utar jao. Main aage nahin jaoonga. Boss yahin pe aake petrol bharwa dega. Mujhe dhakka nahin lagana”. I told him that I won’t argue with him. I will complain to Ola. “Aap jo bhi karo, kar lo. Meri gaadi nahin hai. Mujhe kya. Waise bhi yeh gaadiyaan Nisaar sahab ki hain. Unka kuch nahin kar sakte Ola waale. Saalon ko Agra mein Ola chalaani hai toh Nisaar sahab se panga Ola waalon ka baap bhi nahin le sakta. Agra mein Ola band karwa denge sahab”.

I got down. Waited for a rickshaw for a while; Took the rickshaw and got to my destination.

I enquired further as to the root cause. The issue is lack of checks by Ola. People are buying old, debilitating cars for 50,000 bucks. They get 36,000 per month from Ola. Keep a driver @ 6000. Diesel for another 8000 bucks around per month. Clear 22000/- profit per month. Since the cab is old, no burden of EMI’s. I came to know such practice is rampant in Tier-2/3 cities like Agra, where they say, “Bas call aata hai, koi check karne to aata nahin hai, ki kitni ghatiya car hai”.

I say Ola has gone Nestle way because, Swiss company Nestle think of Indians as Poor people and apply different quality checks for Indian and Switzerland/US/UK. Same is being done by Ola. They are applying different standards and responses to Metros Delhi/Mumbai/Bengaluru and to Tier-2/3 cities. In a bid to expand quality is being degraded.

I complained over the phone. Got a lot of apologies from call centre executive of Ola. They promised me refund. I asked them I don’t need the refund. I want to know when they will ban such cabs and improve quality checks. Otherwise it’s a tragedy waiting to happen with such gundaism.

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Written by arpitgarg

June 20, 2015 at 11:46 am

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