I have been using Ola and Uber, the new generation cab services, from the last 24 months or so. But a small incident during my recent travel using Ola auto brought a smile on my face. Before going into the details of the incident, let me throw some light on how these cab services work. Ola has both cars and autos, you can choose either one of them for the transit, you just have to book it on their mobile app. Cab/auto arrives to your place tracking your place using GPS in the time mentioned on the app, usually, it is between 2 – 10 minutes.
Recently I have to get to my home from a place which is around 12 kms, so I choose Ola auto. As I mentioned above, I have booked that using the app and it has arrived in 3 mins. After reaching home the driver told that the bill amount is Rs.167, which was a decent amount. The interesting part here is the kind of comfort and the peace of mind that provides you. Before these App days, auto ride experience is one of the worst things that the people in India used to undergo. Though the autos have meters fixed, very few drivers go with the price specified in the meter. Once you start asking the price for a ride, shock is the only expression that one can see on your face after you hear the price they demand for that ride. You didn’t even have the option of selecting some other auto as the fellow auto drivers quote the same price or bolster the first auto driver saying that the quoted price is reasonable. It’s like an untold understanding between the drivers. India would have been in a different league if our politicians have even 10% of that understanding between them.
Finally, you have to compromise and go with the price they mention. The amount of shock you undergo after hearing the price from the autowalas in Chennai is double compared to that of any other major city. The price they quote is just mind-boggling. It is like blatantly looting customers just because they are in need of your service. I have been to Chennai once for an interview, my train fare for the on-way trip was Rs.550 and the amount I paid for autos to and fro to the interview location was Rs.600. And, my friend who was staying in Chennai said that the price was ok.
All that pain has been alleviated with the advent of services like Ola and Uber. These cab services are a direct hit on the haughtiness of the autowalas. After paying that Rs.157, I was about to leave and the auto driver said “sir, you will get a message on your mobile to rate the ride please give a 5 rating”. I was HAPPILY surprised to hear such a request from an auto driver. He has requested so because he won’t get many rides if his ratings are not good. I was happy with the ride so I said “sure, I will give you a 5 rating”. This incident has made me very happy as the power from the auto drivers has finally transferred to the customer. I sincerely hope that this convenience to the customers is not ephemeral.