Welcome to Meru. India’s premiere cab service. Dear customer! As the state government has revised the fare for radio taxies in Bangaluru with effect from 2nd Nov. 2011, each kilometer charge has been increased nominally to Rupees 17 and 50 Paise from Rupees 15. The minimum fare………………. Blah Blah Blah.......... Currently we are in process of recalibration of meters in all our cabs, which will take a few days so kindly pay the charges as per the printed receipt…………... Blah Blah Blah…
Okay, if you are still with me, I take you have nothing better to do
in your life or at least in the present moment. This also concludes that your reading it further won’t make any collateral damage to country’s progress per se. So here goes!
So my dear jobless friends! These stupid lines are played to you in slowest possible pace by those ludicrous machine voices whenever you try to book a cab in Bangalore. Oh I get it its important, but dude.. if someone is booking a cab 5 times a day, don’t you think there should be at least an option to skip this crapola and move on with the actual business? Whatever happened to the commonsense?
Anyway, so last week when I was in Bangalore, I booked a cab with these smart Meru people to be picked up from Hotel SFO where I was meeting a friend. I didn’t know the exact location and I told them its Jaya Nagar or JP Nagar. I have no clue how they did it but within 5 minutes a cab was there. The guy even called me that he is waiting outside (though my number was STD for him). Quite impressive! Huh? Err.. not so fast, coz that’s what I did wrong…
The very next day, I was in SFO once again to meet the same friend. With the pleasant experience day before, I called Meru again. Guy confirmed the booking - Yes, Mr. Gupta, Hotel SFO, JP Nagar. (I think they picked it from last night or whatever)
In 10 minutes or so, there is a missed call on my cell. I don’t usually call back to these asinine missed callers but some instinct tells me that its my cab driver so I decide to call.
Me – Yes,
The guy other side – Saar, this is Satya from Meru. Where is your hotel?
Me – Well… I don’t know.
Satya – Saar! is it Jaya Nagar or JP Nagar?
Me – I wish I could help you my friend but I really don’t know… Why don’t you ask your call center? They sent someone last night as well.
Satya – You told them its JP Nagar
Me – No, I told them its either JP Nagar or Jaya Nagar. That too yesterday! Today your smartass call center guy said its JP Nagar
Satya – So saar, its Jaya Nagar or JP Nagar?
Me – I don’t think you are listening buddy but let me try again.. I D O N T K N O W
Satya – But saar….
Me – Oh Come on? Why don’t you get it? How do I know where the hell it is! I am a stranger in this city.. You speak to your call center and figure that out.
Satya – Jaya Nag…
Me – Oh crap.. hang on a tick. Let me take your call center on line
So I call their office and yes, I go through trauma of listening to that 72 seconds crap and then they connect me with a representative. Don’t worry Mr. Gupta.. it will be arranged. I will speak to the driver.
Another 5 minutes. Missed call again... I call back
Satya – Saar, this is Satya! Is it Jaya Nagar or JP Nagar
Me – Are you insane? I just spoke to your call center and the guy said its all arranged.
Satya – But Saar its Jaya Nagar or…
By that time, my patience is running out. My friend (who’s from US and has never seen this kind of crazy lot in past) is laughing his lungs off.
Me – Dude! I don’t know.. and I don’t care.. you figure it out.. If you can, all good. If you can’t.. even better.. Cancel the damn booking but just don’t call me again.
Another 2 minutes, missed call again.. OMG! This is not happening to me.. left with no choices.. I dial again to their call center and yes, go through the damn recorded voice and by the time an agent responds, I am ready to explode. So I describe the situation to him with various colorful adjectives and then finally after 30 minutes or so cab arrives.
End of trauma you will think.. but nope! I reach back to my hotel and Mr. Satya tells me that I will have to pay 50 bucks as convenience charge coz it was beyond regular 35 minutes and thus as per rules (Yes, go to start of post once again)
Me - Are you insane! What is it with you guys? If this is how you guys get your kicks in Bangalore? Screwing around with the innocent passengers?
Satya – Grinning.. but Saar
I swear I could totally bang his head to the hood but my gut told me its not a wise thing to do, especially when you are not on home turf.. so well..
You will think. I must be done with Meru by then… but nope! What do I do with my kind, sympathetic and generous heart!! It must be one bad day and one crazy driver I thought and in an impulse booked a cab again for airport transfer…
to be continued….
In the meantime, advise to Meru – GPS! Ever heard of that?
PS – I see that I left my last post with "to be continued" and its after almost 2 years that I am back on blog. So yeah.. I do understand my words are not very credible but this time the story will be continued ;)