A woman journo’s ordeal with a dot cab

A woman journo’s ordeal with a dot cab
Highlights

A Woman journalist’s Ordeal With a Dot Cab. I called the police control room. One cop who picked up assured that he would speak to them and get back which never happened. When I called back on the same number (100), the cop asked me, “Ma\'am you know where you have called?” I was shocked and asked if wasn’t the police control room to which he said, \"Yes ma\'am. But this is not a police case, so we can\'t do much,” leaving me high and dry.

When you are in distress even cops don’t help you

I called the police control room. One cop who picked up assured that he would speak to them and get back which never happened. When I called back on the same number (100), the cop asked me, “Ma'am you know where you have called?” I was shocked and asked if wasn’t the police control room to which he said, "Yes ma'am. But this is not a police case, so we can't do much,” leaving me high and dry.

Cyberabad is not alienated to violence against women. The place has been a pivotal hub for multitude of rape cases and has registered an upward trend with nearly 400 additional cases being booked compared to previous years. In such a scenario, how safe are women of the city who rely on local cab services? On Friday evening, a journalist was stranded at Hitec City in the middle of the night for relying on a cab service that was verified by JustDial.com with a four-star rating.

Reshmi AR, the city-based journalist, went to attend an event at The Westin Hotel at Raheja Mindspace on Friday. She had called in the services for commuting to and fro.

I called the police control room. One cop who picked up assured that he would speak to them and get back which never happened. When I called back on the same number (100), the cop asked me, “Ma'am you know where you have called?” I was shocked and asked if wasn’t the police control room to which he said,

“I booked the cabs by morning itself so that I can make it to the event hassle-free. They had also sent me a confirmation message informing me that the cabs were booked,” she said.

However, little did she know that what a roller coaster ride the day was going to be. The cab was scheduled to arrive at 4pm. But she did not receive intimation even 15 minutes past the cab's ETA (Estimated Time of Arrival). She called Dot Cabs again but was asked to wait for a while.

The cabbie finally showed up two hours late.

"I still went to attend the event muttering all the way not realising I will have to go through the same ordeal all over again," rues Reshmi.

The official assignment concluded by 9pm and the cab booking was for 10pm. To be on the safer side, she called the service and this is what she heard from the other side.

"Ma'am please wait while we track your information...ah yes, ma'am I have found it! (pause) Sorry ma'am no cabs are available."

Reshmi says, "I asked them how was I supposed to get back home which was miles away from where I was and demanded to know why they did not bother to inform the customer. The customer care executive then put me to his supervisor who was of little help. He apologised for the inconvenience saying, “We are very sorry for the inconvenience, please wait for some more time, we will try to arrange something.” He also added, “Ma'am, please hang up the phone and let me do my job!” I angrily hung up."

When a civilian is in distress, he or she would expect the police to help him out. In Reshmi's case, that too was a dead end.

"I called the police control room. One cop who picked up assured that he would speak to them and get back which never happened. When I called back on the same number (100), the cop asked me, “Ma'am you know where you have called?” I was shocked and asked if wasn’t the police control room to which he said, "Yes ma'am. But this is not a police case, so we can't do much,” leaving me high and dry," she fumed.

"Cab companies are not only insensitive but also indifferent towards customers, even women. They don't care about the consequences. Helpless customers have to bear the brunt of such irresponsible and careless attitude," said Reshmi, adding, "If a person relies on such services, one can't be sure of returning home in one piece or with dignity intact."

The nexus

Reshmi's is not an isolated case. Another international journalist too faced a similar plight once. In the words of Stella Paul, “I had a bad experience with cab services too. I had booked one to go to the airport. They sent an entirely different cab - an independent cabbie who was apparently a friend of the cab service clerk who booked my call (a nexus within). And that guy changed the route midway... the rest is bad, bad memory. Luckily I reached the airport just in time in one piece.”

Some of the cabs are one of the most preferred options given by yellow pages. Reviews and ratings on websites could be deceptive. When you call telephone listings seeking options for a particular service, they send you a random list. These are the ones shortlisted by the prominent website and do not give you details of established and renowned ones for reasons known only to the web managers.

“It's good to cross check instead of going by fake reviews posted by the company,” shares Radesh Kumar, a techie.

According to him a preferable option is opting for a recognised company. When most private cab services began service in 2006, very few people gave top end companies a chance. Most thought it was too expensive, and would appeal only to a small sliver of the commuting market. But on the contrary, these are cheaper and more efficient and keep the professional level intact.

As many as 2,391 cases pertaining to crime against women were booked in 2013 when compared to 1,914 registered in 2012. Of them, 1,565 cases pertained to harassment, while 334 were related to outraging of modesty and 135 concerned with rapes. But still, whenever incidences happen, women take the blame, while our elected representatives (read Akhilesh Yadav) keep on saying, “You are safe, then what is the problem.”

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