Careem and uber are cab service providing apps introduced in Pakistan few years back. The general idea is to provide comfy and affordable transport easily at the doorstep without the hassle of going out in public transport and bargain with drivers. All you need is a smartphone, then the app can be downloaded and used easily.
The apps soon became a success as there were benefits for both driver and user. People quickly started switching from local taxis and rickshaws to apps like Uber and Creem. Many rent-a-car services also put their cars in these apps seeing all the profit.
How these services suppose to work:
You can put your car on Uber or Careem. You will be provided with a registration number and an account. Drivers are trained beforehand and sexual harassment awareness is also provided. The driver will roam around, when someone will book the ride, the driver will be notified and can accept the ride. He will pick the customer from his location and drop him to his destination. Sounds simple.
The real tea:
I’ve said this before in my blog that you can always leave it to Pakistanis to take something really useful and amazing and somehow find ways to use it to their advantage only, by fraud and deception.
Uber was kind enough to compensate to the drivers who didn’t get a ride whole day with Rs.270 an hour. Drivers started using this perk by parking their car in a blind spot where the chances of getting customer was near impossible. Hence they used to get paid without having to drive their car.
Careem drivers were no saints. They started booking bogus rides to reach their bonus target. The driver would go to a location where there wouldn’t be many drivers and book a ride from his own smartphone (other than the one he is using for running his Careem account). They obviously wouldn’t get paid but this helped them reaching their target of particular rides.
Careem drivers even started booking rides to their home. Careem’s system was quick to detect these bogus rides and those drivers were sacked obviously .
Cancelling ride and charging on people.
One of the main problem people are facing from Careem and Uber drivers is that drivers force them to tell their destination and if they didn’t want to go there, they force people to cancel the ride. It wouldn’t have been such a problem but it’s a common knowledge that both these services charge you for cancelling the ride.
This can be due the reason that the drivers are over worked. Cheap labor is hired by people owning cars, from rural areas and they are forced to drive 12-14 hours a day with salary as low as 20-25k per month. This leads to the drivers being frustrated and rude. Here is the statement from one of the Uber rider:
“I have been an Uber rider since the very beginning, have taken more than a 100 rides. I have seen all types of issues with Uber. Sometimes drivers accept a ride because they are obligated by their owners to do so, but they refuse to go to destinations and force the rider to cancel their rides. Sometimes, and I have seen many cases, where the drivers just start a ride without you. Another scam that I have witnessed going on is that Uber drivers accept a ride, come to a location near you, stop accepting calls and force the rider to cancel a ride – getting Rs.150 in cancellation fees.”
My friend who is a frequent user of Uber told me that it has happened more than one time where she booked a ride with Uber, the driver cancelled the ride and charged it on her.
Recently I booked a ride for my mother, after her ride ended she paid him whatever amount the driver asked, without checking the app and he charged her Rs.30 extra. After my complaint Uber added the extra amount in my wallet. But there are some cases where the company claims that they have added the money and the user never gets it.
The cases of Uber and Careem driver harassing customers through messages and calls after the ride are also very common. These companies should use the same system that Uber uses in North America and other countries where the driver and user don’t get original numbers. Instead Uber generate a new number for the ride.
I guess the main problem is that you can’t use Uber helpline to complain as they don’t have one. You have to use their app to register a complaint.
I guess these problems can be resolved if Uber and Careem finds out a way which can prevent Uber and Careem drivers from getting overworked. These companies should also take quick actions on the complaints registered against the drivers to discourage other drivers from taking the same route.