Saturday, September 06, 2008

Terrible Service from Meru Cabs

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:
Name :
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
Dear Customer,

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.


Anonymous said...

There are sometimes, when you want somethg badly you dont have it. I have used Meru a number of times and m totally satisfied with their services. There might have been possibilities when I did not get a cab either when most in need. But once used this cab services, i found it worth travelling by dat cab. As far as i my knoledge goes, Meru is one of the largest radio cabs operator and they have approximately 550 cabs running on the roads. So did i had to go to Delhi one early morning. I called up for a cab by 4 and my flight was at 6. There were no cabs available., but the call centre guy requested me to call for a cab in next half an hour and assured me of a cab. i did so and was happy to get a cab right at my door other den hunting for one at 5 in the mornin. I dont believe that if the cabs are not available and have a high demand amongst the city commuters, makes it a terrible cab service. The cab service is not being set up to let go off their passengers and the money they are making. There is a reason behind every yes / no...

Anonymous said...

I have also experienced the same thing wiht meru cabs. In fact the same sequence
- cannot book before 24 hours.
- if u call withing 24 hours then no cabs are available.

I have experienced this 3-4 times and as such have never been able to use a meru cab.

Bianca said...

Well Meru is doing great, the demand for Meru cabs is surely increasing day by day. That's the reason why most of us have to wait so long while calling for a Meru cab, and thats true sometimes the cabs are just not available. I think Meru should increase the number of cabs they have, to be able to cater to the needs of "Meru brand loyalist", and I am one of them.

Aristarkhos said...

There are two other private cab services in Mumbai. Mega Cabs and City Cabs (or something like that)...but given the pain one goes through with the yellow-blacks when it comes to airport travel, I would try my best to get a private taxi.

btw, I dont understand how you manage to update so many blogs!! It is like some intra-blognet going on here. :)

Kim said...

Lol, Some of the blogs are now static. But I've kept them on either because there is good information on them somewhere or I may write on them in future. The truly defunct ones I have deleted :)

Sheeba K said...

I can answer that question: A friend travelling by Meru once had a chatty cab driver for company. the cabbie informed my friend that it was common practice for the meru customer care to tell people that they were fully booked even when they did not have bookings. this was to make people believe that they were running a full house even when they were clearly not. In the Meru book, its about considered a smart marketing technique to make people want to queue up for Merus. I have stopped using merus since. Anyways, Meru cabbies are getting as rude and uncouth as the normal cab ones so besides the AC, cant imagine why I would want to hire one.

Anonymous said...

I have never really had a problem with any of the meru taxi drivers. Whenever i have travelled with Meru cabs they have been really polite. I do agree they are chatty but in a way it keeps you entertained.