‘Taxi For Sure’ slammed after cab driver misbehaves with a lady
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