In which I try not to sound too much like an annoyed expatriate…and probably fail (1 of 2)

I love India, I love living in India and I have a LOT of love for my Indian friends and the average man-on-the-street that I get to interact with. Taxi drivers and juice wallahs and security guards and shop clerks – amazingly friendly, love love love.

OK, that being said, I have had it up to HERE on a couple of fronts. Let me try and explain.

Complaint Number One: In India “yes” often means “no” or “I have no clue what you’re talking about”, leading to either mildly confusing / funny situations, or frustrating / dangerous ones.

Last night, my aunt needed to go to the airport for her international flight. Knowing that she would need a taxi, and knowing her preference for air conditioning, I booked a taxi from Meru Cabs. Meru sent me a confirmation e-mail and SMS: Your booking status is CONFIRMED. Cab details will be sent to you via SMS. Pickup time is 9:30 PM…etc.

Fine. We went out for dinner, got back to the house by 9:00 and my aunt packed up the last of her stuff. We waited. At 9:25, I’d still not heard from the taxi driver nor the company, so I called. Then, and only then, was I told that “taxicabs are not available in your area at this time. Please wait for 15 minutes and we will send one to you.”

Fine again. We waited. After 15 minutes, I called again, and go the same run-around. “Taxicabs are not available in your area at this time. Please wait for 15 minutes and we will send one to you.” WHAT?!? I need a cab, NOW, or else I’m going to be late for an international flight. You think KLM is going to wait because Meru didn’t have cabs at this time?

So I went out to the taxi stand near my house and was lucky enough to find an available AC cab. My aunt got to the airport. It all worked out in the end. But answer me this: why should I use Meru Cabs again when I can’t count on them? I mean, it’s not the end of the world, but it’s just frustrating when their so-called best-in-class system fails at even the most basic requests: booking a cab in advance? Because yes means no. And the best part? My aunt was in the non-Meru taxi, en route to the airport, and I got a call – from the Meru driver. Then I felt guilty about it all, having to tell the driver than no, the booking has been cancelled due to the incompetence of the call center. I’m sorry, but when it comes to taxis to the airport, you don’t have time to spare waiting! Grr.

And the best part of it is Meru’s motto: Rely On Us.

Yeah, not exactly. You suck, Meru.

Complaint Number Two: Coming tomorrow.

Advertisements

About Rob

Twitter @robertkatz
This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to In which I try not to sound too much like an annoyed expatriate…and probably fail (1 of 2)

  1. Aunt Martha says:

    On the other hand, Aunt Judy’s travels are always full of great adventures and last-minute resolutions to urgent problems–this is just one of them!

  2. Minna Katz says:

    those of us lucky enough to be guests in another country for more than a few weeks-like a few years,always had a love/not love relationship going on.
    Focus on the love part!!

  3. Anish says:

    Rob, this pretty much sucks. I had a similar experience when I booked a radio taxi for a 6 am flight out of Mumbai. I called the taxi service to find out why the taxi never showed up and it was because they never took the booking… typical. So I went looking for a normal taxi, was lucky enough to find one and booked it to the airport. I have family in the suburbs who have taken autos to their airport because their radio taxis never show up.

    Next time, book with different taxi operators or have their numbers so you can call them in case your booking doesn’t go through.

  4. Pingback: In which I try not to sound too much like an annoyed expatriate…and probably fail (2 of 2) | The BobKatz Blog Project

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s