AT LEAST a hundred drivers from Ola Cabs rushed to the company’s Chakala office Thursday morning to raise concerns against their safety issues. The drivers demanded that the cab service take corrective action against customers who indulge in violent practice against them over “petty issues”.
Drivers recalled two cases in the past one week in which customers allegedly misbehaved with them. They claimed that constant complaints of such nature were received but no action was ever taken.
“Last week, one of our drivers in Panvel was injured after a customer got into a fight with him. His right hand was fractured. On Wednesday, a customer not only used foul language against the driver over some issues, he also indulged in violence. In most of these cases, the customers who are either late for their pick-up or do not follow the law remain at fault,” said Yekop Kaen, an Ola cab driver.
The drivers also complained that they were always taken at fault when customers would complain about their behaviour, and poor ratings received from the customers reduced their pay and incentives. “However, more than once, the customers are at fault. For example, they ask if they can smoke inside the car and when we refuse they object to it. We do not have any redressal mechanism in place to raise our concerns,” said Kaen.
The drivers asked the aggregator to tell customers that they should be civil with them during rides, giving it six weeks to consider their demands.
“At least six to seven such cases have happened in the past one month. We fear for our safety,” said Raju Patil from Sangharsh Tourist Taxi Chalak Malak Saghatana.
The cab aggregator has maintained that drivers have been provided with a dedicated helpline to raise their concerns. It has claimed that there is a dedicated desk for the assistance of complaints against the conduct of drivers and a provision in their mobile application for the drivers to rate the customers. No comment was received from Ola on the drivers’ demands.