‘Cab drivers go to highway and then extort money’: Netizen tells his story
A netizen shared his ordeal with an Ola cabs booking in Bengaluru in which the driver did not enter the OTP, but asked for the ride fare mid-trip on a highway where the commuter was unable to book another ride.
Ayush Agrawal, a financial modeling and valuation analyst, booked an Ola cab Tuesday morning to go from a hotel to the Bengaluru airport. He got in, gave the driver the OTP and settled in for the ride. What he did not know was that the driver had not entered the OTP. Instead, he waited till they were on the highway to stop the car and ask for the fare in cash.
Agrawal narrated the incident in a nine-tweet thread, saying, "Ola drivers will accept trip, ask OTP, not enter, go to highway, and then stop and extort money and then take to location. Not surprised. My mistake I booked an Ola Cab. Will only ask help to authority in Jabalpur. Bengaluru not a place to ask people for help."
"Best part about highways. Passengers cannot get down from cars and call new cabs."
The driver cancelled the trip after starting from the pickup point, so none of the cab details were visible to Agrawal while he was all but stranded in the middle of a highway, with no option but to pay the driver the fare in cash and go on with the rest of the journey to catch his flight.
Agrawal also shared a screenshot that showed the trip had been cancelled while he had travelled with the Ola driver to the highway from his hotel.
"I would request @bhash to at least ban such drivers when the cases come across. And would like to ask, “Why are your drivers cancelling trips and demanding, not asking, cash and saying Ola doesn’t pay? This was not my first experience, though this was a very crude one,” Agrawal further wrote.
He said another driver had accepted the ride before his trip but made the demand for Agrawal to cancel the ride and pay him the estimated fare amount directly while still at the hotel.
“A second guy before him accepted trip, had me wait 3-5 mins and then when he came asked amount showing on app and told me to cancel. At least he was decent enough to do this while I was at hotel. All wonders of booking an @Olacabs near @BLRAirport,” he tweeted.
Agrawal told Hindustan Times that he had reached out to Ola about the incident, but had not received a response at the time this article was being written. He expressed concern about passengers' safety and said, “It is not about money. I honestly got a very strange feeling when I was in the cab, and don't want my daughter to ever get (the same feeling).”
“How can someone ask cash after the amount has been fixed? That too stopping far away from the pickup point, and passenger meanwhile assumes the OTP has been entered. What if he doesn't enter OTP and stops somewhere else? As ride was not taken, how would I have tracked it if it was my daughter?” he said.
“Frankly speaking the amount doesn’t matter to me nor does the incident. But my fatherly instinct kicks in every time such things happen. Paying double via app is fine, driver accepting trip, stopping after pickup away from pickup plc not entering OTP and then asking cash is not,” he said in another tweet.
In a similar incident in May, a Bengaluru resident who booked an outstation ride for his family to travel to Mysuru, said collection agents blocked the car mid-trip and threatened the driver they will confiscate the vehicle if he did not pay up his past instalments right at that moment. Ultimately, the whole family were stranded on the highway.
Discontent has been brewing against cab aggregators in Bengaluru of late, with debates sparking every now and then on their reliability for a safe and smooth commute.