Not So Easy!

Reading this article reminded me of what happened not so long ago.

My father was not well. He had thrown up a couple of times already, and it didn’t feel like just a case of indigestion any more. I thought it best we take him to the hospital.

Our driver had already left for the day, and DH was to stay at home to look after Lil D, since we didn’t know how long the hospital visit would take. I don’t drive (and don’t plan to!), so I tried my usual reliable Spot Taxi. Unfortunately, they did not have any taxi available. I tried Meru, but they said they did not offer hourly packages, which is what we needed in case we had to get Dad back home.

Finally I called Easy Cab for a taxi. They were courteous and prompt in their response. I reiterated several times that this was an emergency, and we needed a cab quickly. The person who took my call assured me that they would have a cab out to my place in half-an-hour to 45 minutes. They would message me the cab details in 15 mins. I heaved a sigh of relief, and Mom and I got ready.

Almost half an hour later, I still hadn’t got a message. DH called up Easy Cab. They went over all the details, and guess what? They had “cancelled” the booking! We were shocked. Why? Who? Apparently, there was no cab available, and so they cancelled the booking. Just like that. With not even a courtesy call or a message to inform us! I was aghast at this behaviour. What sort of cab service operates like this?

We didn’t have time to lose. Dad was getting worse by the minute. DH didn’t waste time arguing with Easy Cab. He and Lil D got ready in a jiffy, and we all bundled into the car.

It had begun raining, and it was peak hour, so traffic was a complete mess. We barely made it to the main road, when a guy driving alongside us shouted out something before speeding away. DH was the only one who understood what he said, and it wasn’t very good. We had a puncture! It was not just raining, it was pouring! Had it been a Bollywood/Hollywood movie, the only missing element would have been a pregnant lady whose water had just broken! 🙂

Luckily, we managed to hail a “nice” auto. Mom, Dad and I got in, and sped away to the hospital. Dad’s face was now almost red with the rushing blood, and his head lolled on Mom’s shoulder. We just prayed that we would get to the hospital in time. And we did. Dad was ultimately diagnosed with gall bladder infection and spent a harrowing fortnight in the hospital. Any further delay in reaching the hospital, and who knows what might have happened?

I would never have forgiven Easy Cab for the delay if something serious had happened. I later learnt from other folks that they too had had similar experiences with this service. If I’m being unfair in my judgement just because of this one experience, so be it. But I am never calling Easy Cab again.

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7 thoughts on “Not So Easy!

  1. That must have been a terrible, harrowing experience. I’m so relieved it turned out fine. I’ve also heard such things about Easycab, though I’ve never tried them myself. But I’ve tried others and they’re all alike. Of course, my requirements haven’t been emergencies, so I just finished with a round of cursing. But my parents have had a couple of bad experiences, getting late for their bus/train/flight due to these irresponsible characters. (including Meru).

    So I’m doing the next best thing – learning to drive.

  2. What an awful awful experience. Lesson: Avoid Easy Cab. That’s so irresponsible and they think of themselves so highly. Thank God it turned out fine.

  3. Good for you, Shruthi! I can’t tell my left from my right so I guess it’s for the good of the world in general that I’m not driving 😀

    I haven’t had bad experiences with any of the other taxis so far. Let’s hope it remains that way! :))

    Absolutely, Lara. I’ve learnt my lesson all too well.

  4. Seriously “Customer Service” is an alien concept in India.. in all walks of life.

    I am proud to say that so far I have not hailed these Company Cab’s even once in my life !! I feel somewhat vindicated in not trusting these Cab Companies.. Instead I go for the no-frills but trusted “Yellow Top” taxis.

    When I need to take a cab for the airport from my home.. I just go to the taxi stand near my house in the morning.. ask the Cabbies who are hanging around, if any of them is free in evening to go to airport.. Jot down the cell nbr of the guy who says “yes” .

    Come evening, I give a reminder call half n hour before the scheduled time. Thankfully.. so far there have been no last-minute surprises.. Till date the record is 100 % on-time pick up.

    I guess your case was different since it was an emergency.. But even in such cases.. I would prefer hailing a cab from the road.. rather than calling these loafer cab companies.

  5. Ah IW. In Bangalore we don’t have the yellow-top-cabs on the road concept at all. Autos, yes. Not taxis. Which is a bummer. And that’s what makes Mumbai such a commuter’s delight. I am constantly surprised when I get back exact change from an autowallah there, coz I’m so used to losing the change to the “no-change” drivers here.

  6. In my recent June visit to Bangalore, I was very impressed using Meru and Easy cab services. Booking a cab, courteous call center agents, getting instant SMS confirmation about booking. Everything felt so great. I was proud technology had caught up and made the process of ordering for a cab efficient.

    That was until after the third time when I had a similar experience as you mentioned with Easy cab. The more I used it appeared their service is more a ‘best effort’ and ‘at will’ service agreement. This seems more consistent during peak hours. Meru seems slightly better in their “hit” ratio. Another observation, this ratio is extremely high if you ask to drive to the airport.

    Glad you were able to get your father into the hospital without any more issues.

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