India is one of the fastest growing taxi markets, valued almost around $12 billion, and app-based taxi services like Uber and Ola are fighting for the top spot. Ola Cabs is one of the biggest taxi aggregators in India and also biggest competitor of Uber in the Indian market. It has raised $500 million in funding, and processes more than 150,000 bookings a day. In the fight of superiority, a few goof-ups are bound to happen sometimes, and it is the customer who ultimately bears the brunt. There are number of instances when customers have to suffer because of poor customer support and overall shoddy service. But this man in Hyderabad received a shock of his lifetime when Ola handed him a bill of Rs 9 lakh, yes you read that right. Also Read - Ola Cabs to start services in London from February 10; details
Well, for people wondering what technical glitches could possibly do, here it is. On 24 August, Rathish Sekhar reportedly left for Nizamabad in the morning and came back in the evening on the same day. “When I booked the cab the estimate shown on my phone was about Rs 5,000. When I actually returned, the bill showed Rs 9.15 lakh. There were no dots between the numerals. For example, sometimes the bill amount is displayed as ‘9158.87’ which would mean Rs 9,158. But even Rs 9,000 would be almost double the estimate,” he told Deccan Chronical. Also Read - Ola expands services in two new UK cities, taking total to nine cities
However after a call to Ola, the final bill was cut short to Rs 4,812. The company has apologized for the incident and said that it was a technical error. The report further adds that while he had traveled around 450 km, the trip showed the distance traveled as 85,427 km.
This is not the first time such glitches were found in the app. Recently, a software engineer and a security firm have exposed what they say call as the vulnerabilities in Ola’s mobile app, raising concerns about the efficiency of the cab aggregator. Reportedly, the problem was that Ola was allowing the same order identification code to be used for as many recharges. The order identification code provided to customers at the very first time they book a cab is not backed by enough validation.
There were many incidents in the past where both Uber and Ola used surge pricing to shoot up their charges during the rain or peak hours, with many customers cancelling their trip after the estimate cost of their ride showed numbers in thousands.
Telangana transport minister P Mahender Reddy has announced that the government would soon control the fares of app-based cab services like Ola and Uber. Earlier, Delhi and Tamil Nadu governments have cracked down on these taxi aggregators, especially for their surge prices.