A friend of mine recommended me to try Meru Cabs the next time I was in Mumbai.
His office uses them regularly and he found them to be good and cleaner than regular taxis and found their prices better than the airconditioned blue & white taxis.
Since I had to make a sudden trip down, I decided to use their web booking system 2 days in advance to pick me up from the International Airport and drop me to the place I was staying in Bombay.
They asked for the following details online:
Pick up Address :
Pick up Landmark :
Destination Area :
Contact No. :
Your Email id :
After filling all of that, I received this mail from them after an hour
We refer to your booking request dated 27th July 2008
We regret to inform you that we accept bookings only 24 hrs in advance , hence we request you to contact our Customer Care Center at 022 44224422 at least 60minutes prior to your pickup schedule and confirm if we have any free cabs in the nearby vicinity to serve your request.
We appreciate your cooperation.
Thank you for showing interest in Meru
Customer Care Executive
This made sense, so I tried again the next day before heading to the airport, to catch my flight to Bombay.
I received another polite mail saying that they did not have allotted parking space at the International terminal and hence could not guarantee a pick up.
Ok, this too was understandable. So I made my way to my temporary residence in Bombay-Bandra using a regular taxi service from the airport.
The next day I had to catch a domestic flight, so I gave them a call 14 hours in advance to book a cab from Bandra to the Domestic Airport. (this was 5pm the previous day)
I was told that because of the weather, they could not confirm bookings this early, but if I called one hour before I needed to leave (which was 8am) I would definitely get a booking. I did not fancy navigating up asteep slope with my heavy luggage to find a regular taxi in the morning and I told the call center guy that. But he said, "Maam 99% you will be able to get a cab if you call at 7am, but I cannot take a booking right now"
I checked again at 10pm before going to sleep (international flight the previous night caused sleep deprivation that had to be made up) if I could book a cab and was again told to call an hour before I needed to leave.
The next morning I woke up early, because I could not sleep with this end being lose. At 5am (2 hours before the recommended time), I called to book a taxi to pick me up at 8am and was told "I'm sorry, but all our taxis are booked, we cannot give you a booking
In some ad of theirs, I read that they had more than 2000 taxis operating in Bombay. They weren't accepting bookings at night, but yet at 5am in the morning, they said they did not have any cabs available.
I asked the lady what the possibility of being able to book a cab one hour later would be and she said "We don't have any cabs free till 4pm".
While I can understand that some things are unpredictable and uncontrollable, why give false promises?
The whole ordeal just left a very bad taste in my mouth and I doubt I will ever use their service again.