SHIMLA – Yesterday, an incident of misbehavior with a lady by a ‘Taxi for Sure’ (TFS) cab driver came into light after complainant approached Chota Shimla Police station. The complainant told police that his wife, who was travelling with her kid, had hired a cab from BCS to Kaihu through Taxi For Sure, a Bengaluru-based cab aggregator service, which has found base in Shimla lately.
According to the report, the arguments took place over rash driving by the cab driver, Ankit Kumar. The lady alleged that the driver was using a cellphone while driving and almost collided the cab with a truck coming from opposite direction near Ta land. The cab driver had heated arguments with the truck driver.
However when she asked the taxi driver not to risk their lives like that and leave the phone aside while driving, the driver responded rudely and used disrespectful language. The complainant alleged that the driver refused to take the passengers to the pre-booked destination. The lady accused that she and her 3-years old kid was forced to get off the cab at hotel Landmark near the Victory Tunnel.
The lady called her husband, Naveen Ahuja, who tried to lodge a complaint to the company on Taxi For Sure customer care number 0177-6060-101. However, the customer care (call routed to Chandigarh) expressed their incapability to take any action and also denied information regarding the details of the driver and local office address and contact details. The customer care operators avoided commenting on the issue.
HW talked to the husband of the lady, who alleged that the company is fraud and is cheating with the public. He informed that taxi booking confirmation message had mentioned the number of cab (HP- 01S-1236) and the name of the driver (Ankit Kumar). However, when the driver was summoned from police station, a different driver, Sanjay Kumar, was sent with a cab with different registration number (HP 01 A 1880). He also alleged that the company is cheating with public and keeps no proper records or documents of drivers associated with it.
When we asked TFS about cars being swapped, they explained that the same (HP 01 A 1880) car had picked up the client but the client did not notice it. Still, TFS is at fault as they did not update the client regarding the numbers.
The driver was issued a challan of Rs. 1000 at police station, while RTO department assured strong action against the erring driver and the company too.
According to Ahuja, the company had earlier denied any immediate direct action against their driver, and he received a call from TFS Shimla Office seeking apology on the behalf of driver only after the news appeared in news next day. He added,
They had information regarding the incident the very day, but I received no call from the company until next day.
HW approached Taxi For Sure’s Shimla office in Kasumpti, to listen to their side of the story. We found the company had maintained all necessary documents including copies of all driving licenses, registration certificates, insurance, character certificate from SP office, passing certificates etc. of taxis registered with them.
TFS told HW that the company provides all its cabs with a Vehicle Tracking Device so that the locations of pick and drop could be verified. The TFS claimed that the tracker, in this case, showed that the cab had dropped the lady near Tara Hall School. We were also shown the following information on a computer screen that showed a location marked near Tara Hall:
Again, TFS failed to drop the passenger on decided destination, which was Lalbagh in Kaithu. The company also informed us that both the drivers have been blacklisted and detached from the company permanently as soon as they received the complaint.
The couple lodged a complaint on the customer care number that operates from Chandigarh, and didn’t inform the Shimla office incharge. The customer care operator do not keep the detailed records with them, rather, it’s with the regional office or headquarters. That was why the customer care operator could not provide them with details of drivers, which was then exaggerated in newspapers without approaching our Shimla office or without any confirmation regarding the documentation and other allegations
, said Majusha Sharma, Shimla office incharge for Taxi For Sure.
She further added,
the trouble was caused due to communication problem. We didn’t receive the complaint before evening. But we took immediate action against the drivers once the complaint reached us and we also contacted the client regarding the same.
Manjusha told HW that presently 108 cabs are associated with TFS and 92 are operational. Every car is inspected for fitness before registration. The drivers are briefed and trained right after they join the company. They are also given instruction regarding mannerism, safety, and convenience of passengers. However, in terms of behavioral habits and conditioning on individual level every driver differs. Same drivers, who have been earlier working with their local unions, are registered with their own vehicles.
Staff also claimed that every concerned department including RTO, Police, and Shimla MC are informed about their operation in Shimla, and these departments have been provided with printed pamphlets. However, none of these departments cared to verify TFS office in Shimla nor they bothered to keep their contacts in records.
While Taxi aggregator apps are looking to find a respectable and legitimate place in the modern, digitized market, the Govt. is tough on them. Most of it can be attributed to the ‘Uber cab rape case’ in Delhi. Some of these apps are working in various countries across the globe, however, Indian system doesn’t look prepared for such facilities.
In this incident, many loopholes in TFS service as well as that of Govt. departments came into light. First of all, TFS failed to ensure that driver do not swap cars like in this case. The same car reaches to client that was confirmed in the conformation message from company. It’s an act of carelessness to let drivers allow such improvises. Secondly, TFS didn’t provide the contact and location details of local office when requested by the client. Secondly, the customer care service isn’t connected to local office in Shimla.
Also, it appears that TFS didn’t take the matter seriously until it made news and the complainant reached higher officials. There is no scope for any compromise with the safety and convenience of the public. We hope, taxi aggregators and cab drivers will take a lesson from it.
We would also request our readers and public to bring such issues to the attention of concerned department and media. You can write to us on editor [at] himachalwatcher.com
Fastway cable subscribers in Shimla feeling cheated despite paying hefty monthly charges
Fastway is charging Rs. 600 per month despite that we don’t have any service. Today is our 6th day without cable inspite of daily complains to the provider.
SHIMLA- Subscribers of Fastway Cable service in Shimla have been constantly complaining of poor service quality and poor customer support. Now some residents wrote to Himachal Watcher complaining that they are feeling cheated as the provider is extorting arbitrary monthly charges but isn’t delivering regular cable service. The residents complained that the cable service mostly remains suspended. When they try to lodge complaint, the Channel 9 ( Fastway franchise in Shimla) customer support hardly respond to phone calls.
I was fed up with Fastway’s poor service. I realized they are charging unreasonable amount for almost nothing as the cable doesn’t work of the time. So, I switched to Tata Sky, and I suggest other subscribers to get rid of Fastway. It’s better to have your own system,
said a resident of Summer Hill.
Another resident of the same locality complained,
The Channel 9 group is cheating the residents of Summer Hill. It has hiked its charges but most of the Channels are unavailable daily. It’s very common that the cable remains out of service for more than two to three days.
All residents of Summer Hill want that some punitive action against the service provider for not delivering ensured quality of service despite hefty charges,
he further added.
Fastway is charging Rs. 600 per month despite that we don’t have any service. Today is our 6th day without cable inspite of daily complains to the provider,
said a local.
Locals from Tutikandi reported similar case.
The cable boy doesn’t appear to collect monthly charges. Meanwhile, Fastway withdraws it services for non-payment of bill. I call them and ask to send the cable boy to collect the monthly charges but he doesn’t show up. The provider has no control over the cable boys,
said a local.
The housewives are mostly dependent on cable for little recreational opportunity they get after all household tasks are done, pointed out another local. In fact, in urban world, cable TV has become a basic amenity as it now directly affects quality of their lifestyle. The cable service providers are continuously hiking monthly charges while their services are degrading day by day.
The consumers have demanded the responsible authority to take cognizance of the situation and take measures to regulate the rates as well keep the service providers responsible.
Looting own people in times of unrest, this Shimla shopkeeper is a disgrace to Dev Bhoomi
SHIMLA– The State Tourism Department and the Food and Civil Supplies Department is well aware that during peak tourist season shopkeepers, liquor stores, hoteliers, and even road-side tea-stall extract over-charges from tourists. Situations like heavy snowfall, when the transportation is hit and supplies are limited, is a jackpot for their kind. The department isn’t interested in correcting this irregularity. However, this loot isn’t limited to tourists and outsiders anymore. This (shown in the video) shopkeeper didn’t spare even the locals. Several residents of the locality reported unlawful extracted for goods and bullying on being protested. Fed-up with this goon, one of the youth tried to capture his anti-social behavior on mobile cam. This is what he came out with – a disgrace to Shimla.
While a part of entire conversation is not recorded in the small footage, enough was recorded to confirm the unlawful and anti-social act by the shopkeeper.
This shopkeeper of Chauhan General Store, located in Vikasnagar, near the Kali temple, with couple of his goon friends, was caught on camera demanding more than printed Maximum Retail Price (MRP) when the city needed his co-operation. He was making profit by exploiting the situation created by recent spell of snowfall after which over half of the city plunged into darkness and residents faced shortage of daily supplies like milk and bread.
Surprisingly, with no fear of administration, the shopkeeper not only denied selling goods to a consumer but also abused and threatened him. It is a matter of shame for not only for Food and Civil Supply Department, but also for the institution responsible for maintaining law and order. The shopkeeper and his accomplices openly challenged the consumer to approach any authority, even the court with this complaint. Such absence of fear of law is worrisome.
Compare Himachal Pradesh with other states and you’ll find it a peaceful state with co-operative and hospitable natives. The capital Shimla, a tourist destination of international fame, shared more or less same reputation until recently as urban environment started taking over society in the city. This shopkeeper is the latest and well documented proof of it.
He is not the only one of his kind; several black sheep could be spotted if the administration ever bothers to maintain regulations. It is saddening that such people do not show any respect to law and to rights and dignity of the consumers.
Himachal Watcher is forwarding the video clip to the Food and Civil Supplies Department for appropriate action.
Poor Fastway Cable Service in Shimla harassing consumers
SHIMLA-Subscribing to Fastway cable service in Shimla city has become a mental harassment for public as services offered are miserable. People prefer to buy their own DTH setup and recommend same to others to avoid bitter experience with Fastway cable operators.
Despite paying monthly charges of Rs. 200-300, most of the channels are either not available due to poor signal strength or are down most of the time. Accessories provided by cable operator are too of very poor quality. According to a pile of complaints that people shared with Himachal Watcher, Fastway’s customer care is one of the worst experience they ever came across.
The cable boys in Shimla, on the other hand, share the same attitude. To avoid consumer complaints, the boys do not collect monthly subscription charges every month. Rather, they show up only after five to six months demanding total pending payment.It disturbs monthly budget of middle class families who were comfortable with paying small sum every month. The rest of time, these cable-boys do not receive calls to intentionally ignore customer complaints.
A resident of Shimla told Himachal Watcher that the Fastway cable operator disconnects his connection arbitrarily every week. TV screen shows a message “You have not subscribed to this channel.”
“When I dialed the customer care number displayed on the TV screen, no one replied. I tried again on next day but still there was no reply, said one of the complainant,” said the complainant.
According to complainant, the cable boy or any other representative of the company did not approached him to receive monthly payment despite his complaints. At the same time, operator’s reason for disconnection is non-payment of bill.
“I told the operator to come and get his payment, but no one appeared,” he added.
“Now, tired of Fastway service, I have bought my own DTH. I will strongly suggest avoiding Fastway. Their services are getting only poorer,” he further added. Several other residents are facing similar experience.
A resident of Kasumpti complained that the remote control provided with set-top box stop working after couple of months and the operator took over three weeks to replace it.
Television has become integral part of current lifestyle as a mean of entertainment. In a city like Shimla, cable TV is a respite for victims of stressful modern, urbanized lifestyle. Entertainment and recreation have always been present in every civilization since ancient times in the form of music, dance, sports, arts etc. However, in modern spaces, recreation is limited to only TV sets and smartphones.
Considering the studies conducted by various researchers regarding the role of television in modern lifestyle, poor cable service deprives consumers of entertainment and a major mean of gaining information (media), which cast negative effect psychologically. This implies that TV is directly associated with quality of life.
Therefore, the cable operators, especially the Fastway must not take their pathetic, inadequate service lightly. Behavior of the staff is also questionable. In brief, there are substantial grounds on which the cable company can be dragged into consumer court.