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Uber and Ola refuse rides too, not just black-and-yellow taxis, say Mumbai customers

Mumbaiites who frequently use app-based cabs are reporting an increase in incidents of drivers asking them to cancel trips; however, Ola, Uber claim monitoring systems are in place.

mumbai Updated: Jul 09, 2018 14:37 IST
Aroosa Ahmed
Aroosa Ahmed
Hindsutan Times
Drivers have stated that plying on long-distance routes decreases the chances of getting a ride back. (HT File Photo/Used for representational purpose)

Commuters who wish to take private cabs in lieu for black-and-yellow taxis or auto rickshaws, may be in for a rude shock.

Mumbaiites who frequently enlist services of app-based cabs have been reporting an increase in incidents of the drivers refusing to accept rides.

Drivers, upon learning the customer’s intended destination, are now asking the customers to cancel the rides. They often cite low fuel, non-accessibility to location, and lower chances of getting return rides as reasons for this.

An example of such an incident can be seen in the case of Byculla resident, Mildred Lopes. Lopes booked an Uber Pool from Mahim to Byculla on July 1.

‘The app was showing me that the ride was seven minutes away, as he was completing a trip and traffic was bad. I waited for 20 minutes before calling the driver, whose location was showing at a spot five minutes away.

The driver then asked me to cancel the trip. When I questioned him, he abused me and slammed the phone. I called him repeatedly but he did not respond. Fed up, I ultimately cancelled the ride and was charged ₹49. I called the driver again, who started to shout abuses and said it was not his problem,” said Lopes.

Anam Shaikh, a Kurla resident, had a similar experience. “I wanted to go to Dahisar from Ghatkopar. The driver asked me where I wanted to go and immediately told me to cancel. He initially citied lack of fuel. When I was persistent, he said he had to go to Bhandup and would not get a passenger back. I then cancelled the ride.”

Drivers have stated that plying on long-distance routes decreases the chances of getting a ride back. “I always ask the passenger the destination. This helps me determine whether I will get a return ride from the spot. A drop to Kalyan will have less chances of a rider coming back, than a drop to Bandra. However, there are also many drivers who do not want to travel short distances,” said an Ola driver who did not wish to be named.

Meanwhile, private cab firms have stated that they regularly conduct counselling sessions for drivers and ask them not to cancel rides.“There are several ways in which we measure driver quality. While we understand that there are cases when driver partners are compelled to cancel trips owing to unforeseen reasons, we encourage them to minimise cancellations for the reliability of the system. Frequent cancellations by drivers can even result in temporary deactivation of their accounts,” said an Uber spokesperson.

“We are constantly working towards improving the mobility experience for both our customers and driver partners. For driver partners, we have put in place systems that make it easier and flexible for them to perform and improve their earnings on our platform,” said an Ola spokesperson.

According to officials from private cabs, if a driver constantly cancels rides, it impacts their rating. “A driver can cancel a maximum of two rides in a day. If they exceed this number, their ratings go down and this reduces their chances of getting a ride,” said an official.

First Published: Jul 09, 2018 14:36 IST