On 8Th July I booked a Cab from Olacabs at 11.01 PM from My residence towards CSIA Airport and Return scheduled at 6.45 AM.
I had done the booking from the site and received email confirmation after 8 minutes with the CRN number: 7177728.
Normally in such services of Booking, scheduling, pickups, etc. SMS is critical, however I did not receive an SMS confirmation. That made me worry at that exact moment, hence I sent a quick Question through their WebEngage widget on right side.
I got a confirmation that my “Question” was received by Olacabs via automated reply from WebEngage.
However there has been no reply to that till date.
Not receiving a quick response I called up Olacabs at around 12.30 AM and asked told them that I haven’t received the SMS, can you provide me the Car details and driver contact info ?
The support rep Rahul, he ignored the “did not receive SMS part” informed that I will get a call 30 mins before scheduled time.
I was relieved, assuming i would get a call.
But, then. Early morning I was waiting for the call from Olacabs, the call did not come till 6.30 AM.
I immediately called up Olacabs to ask for status, to my surprise. They said the Booking was cancelled.
Which I never Did. Why would I ? When I needed the service ?
I told the rep that I did NOT cancel the booking who did ? and what now. He told me to hangup and he will revert within 5 minutes.
I hung-up, but I was growing impatient as we had to go to pick up a relative from airport. I called them again and asked them I did not cancel my booking, then who cancelled it from your side ?
He told me
The booking was automatically cancelled by system because your phone number was incorrect as it was starting with 9198XXXXXX.
It struck me immediately, I had used Auto Fill on Google Chrome to fill in the details (unfortunately I used auto-fill for the first time), and I got to know what would have happened exactly.
I asked him if there is any nearby cab right now there was none and I hung up the call, I was angry and could not even escalate the issue then as I had to manage another transport to get there.
I did not enter the number incorrectly, in fact, I did not enter it at all. I used a simple tool which a ton of people use over the web today, its Auto-Fill.
What happened was the phone number field at Olacabs site is usual 10 Digit field. However, when Auto Fill inserted the number it inserted with the country code 91, hence the last 2 digits of my no did not go into the field. My mistake was that I trusted Auto-fill to the fullest, and did not re-check the detail.
However, I was concerned when I did not receive the SMS confirmation even after receiving the email of the booking and hence had called up support and told them that i did not receive SMS.
If people at Olacabs know that they cancel a booking due to an incorrect number, why did the support executive not confirm the number with me when on call? When i explicitly stated that i did not receive the SMS ?
This is critical as they were having 2 modes to communicate with me Email and SMS, I would have found the issue well before if they had provided the phone number in the email, however they did not. The email had everything except the phone number, which is the single criteria they use to confirm or cancel bookings.
In short what I have to say is that Olacabs has failed for me, really badly.
I had high expectations for Olacabs, because they have demonstrated being passionate about their service. I could not expect such issues from a service provider, which had taken steps beyond normal to pacify an upset customer. This was reported on SocialSamosa too. Heres the link :
May be My Expectation of Olacab being customer-centric was Wrong ?
Because i am not such a significant influencer on Social Media as was in above case and that the question i submitted was Private so no Ola was not expecting any damage nor publicity for fixing.
If Olacabs really cared for customers, not just Influencers It would have replied to my question long back not waiting for me to write this blog post.
How could this have been avoided ?
Me checking the Phone number while using auto-fill or manually. Agree.
Minimum expectation from Ola Cabs support was that the exec took utmost care when customer said “I did not receive SMS” considering it a Red flag and fixing the issue then and there.
Providing the Phone number along-with the other Booking details in the Email confirmation
The most easiest, they could have set up the Email Confirmation as such it provides All Details and most importantly the phone number as they just consider phone number to cancel or validate the booking.There are other providers who are doing this, nothing new.
Its been 4 Days since I left them that question, and they haven’t responded. I am sure its lying unattended in someone’s Inbox who would delete it someday.
You have the next big idea but don’t have a strong technical background and you don’t have a great technical co-founder lined up. Sadly, that represents over 95% of potential entrepreneurs out there and it’s a very frustrating experience