Going app only way, seems to be the new trend for online marketing companies. With the additional profit incurring through internet downloads, they lure their customers by giving discount coupons to use their apps and customers get trapped in this. Often the app is sub-standard and full of bugs. It becomes a nightmare to use these services. Similar is my experience with a cab service named OLA Cabs. They have recently launched their services in Tier II & III cities.

Spotting OLA Cabs in every nook and corner of the city seemingly flooding the city roads, I rejoiced that the cab services have come to Tier II & III cities as well. But I was unaware of their pathetic services. Hence, I made a mistake by booking a cab with them. With the customer care number flashed on every OLA cars “FOR BOOKING CALL 3355335”. I thought booking cab is just a phone call away and I gave them a call. The customer care people told one need smartphone to book the service as it can be availed only through apps and they can’t book it through phone calls. So, I had to download the app. My question “Why do you flash the customer service no, rather flash download #OLAapp to avail the service”. Now starts the tiresome journey with #OLAapp.


The GPS system is so outdated and inaccurate that it show the location 3 kms away from the current location, despite relocating the balloon to my correct location. I had to cancel the bookings two-times as the pick-up location was different. Third time I was lucky to book at the correct location. Then comes the bug of using PROMO Codes. When I was booking they had a special offer of Rs. 100 off through OLA 100 coupon code in addition to the Rs. 200 off. While booking the ride, punching OLA100 showed invalid code. Even repetitive calls to customer care could not solve the problem, they are ready with impromptu reply giving lame answer of network issues, server problems, connection problem, restart your mobile, restart your app, wait for some time, etc. I finally tried to book with the Rs. 200 off coupon code for first ride. Well the code was accepted.  They don’t give hatchback for advance booking (may be to increase overall fare) and hence, without any need for sedan I had to book one to avail their service. After much-a-do, I made an advance booking for next day. I was confident that I will reach the station in time, since, I have booked an OLA a day in advance hoping they are very prompt, but to my surprise.

OLA is very conservative about their drivers contact number and hence, they share it only 30 min before the pick-up time. I received a message from OLA around 30 min before detailing the cab no., model, color and driver name with his mobile no. I gave him a call to assure, if he is coming to pick me up. His phone was not-reachable and sooner I got a message saying driver has cancelled your booking. I rang the driver again to ask to which he replied “Sir, I am at a distant location and won’t be able to make to your home in time, so I have cancelled the booking”. I was like what the heck is going on. I asked him what should be done next. He suggested to give a call to the customer care and they will make some arrangements. I called up the customer care to know about the detail, what can be done at their end and to ask if this the way they treat advance booking?

To my utter surprise they were least bothered, giving same lame reply. Upon asking for an alternate arrangement came the reply “Sir, it’s an app only service and we cannot book”. Upon asking about their sincerity for advance booking, the reply was “Sir, I have taken a complaint against the driver on your behalf and would look into the matter”. But for now, you can book another OLA cab right away. I was like when you cannot arrange a cab for one day prior booking, how can I believe that you will assign one now. It was on 16/8/2015 and I am yet to receive complaint number and follow-up call on the complaint.

The story does not end here. I was lucky to have booked the service keeping some buffer time. Hence, I hastily ran off my home to reach station through any means possible. I spotted an OLA Cab waiting in the parking area, I inquired if they have come to pick me up, keeping my fingers crossed. But he was waiting for someone else. He further inquired about my destination and was ready to drop me off without giving a second thought about his current booking. He started bargaining the fare to which I said, would pay as per OLA tariff.

Getting into the car, I could feel the unprofessionalism, as the driver was not properly dressed. He was driving in his shorts. On my way, I started inquiring about how the service works, to which he replied, they are the owner of the cab and had registered their cab with OLA. For every booking the company charge some percentage as commission and hence, the driver at their free will can take or reject any booking. They seemed interested in getting “HIRED” without app as they save the entire money and don’t need to pay a single penny to the company. This made the situation crystal clear. I could easily understand the reason why the driver cancelled my booking.

With such pathetic customer service, unprofessionalism and least dedication of the drivers, it depends on your fate whether you get to your destination in time or get nightmare by missing your train, meetings, etc. OLA is least bothered about their customers. With such bad experience I am surely not going to book any OLA Cab in future. After the great ordeal and this tiresome journey, I received a mail from OLA marketing support saying you have not booked any cab till date #Chaloniklo.

Doesn’t this say the whole story?

#pathetic #poorcustomerservice #chaloniklo #OLA #OLAapp #review #cabservice #consumerredressalforum #iamcheated