#uberAUTOfail : There’s miles to go before this works
Unless you’ve been living under a rock for these past few months, you’ll have definitely heard the name of Uber. Matching the notoriety of this cab-booking app (at least in the Delhi-NCR region) are our famous autorickshaws, which can be relied on always overcharging the fare.
In an unexpected turn of events, Uber has decided to launch uberAUTO, an e-service for autorickshaws that lets you book an auto using the Uber app (only in the Delhi region for now) . This is the first time the corporation is deviating from its cashless booking model, as riders will make payments in cash to the autos. Most importantly, the auto driver will be operating strictly by the meter, which should be a cause of celebration for many of us.
So as one of the target demographics for this service, I decided to foray into the fray, so to speak. As a (hypothetical) resident of South Extension II, I decided to book an auto from there to my college, located in the Chanakyapuri area.
Booking an auto through Uber turned out to be the most mind busting experience of my life. Why, you ask ? Well, I can assume that most of the kinks I faced were because there’s always some road bumps (pun intended) a service provider needs to iron out at the beginning. Well let’s just say that Uber has a lot of ironing out to do.
Apparently, the autos are available in certain areas only during certain time frames. So, as I said before, say you’re a student living in South Extension II and you want to book an auto to college at around 8 am. Well then hard luck , because there are no autos available at that time in the area. But, if you want to leave the area at any time between 11 am and 1pm, then good for you, since that’s when there’s a seeming overabundance of autos in that area.
However, in case you’re planning to travel from Connaught Place, you’ll do just fine. CP was the only place that had autos available most of the time.
Another extremely annoying quirk is what I shall henceforth refer to as the ‘Choomantar Auto’ phenomenon. At 12:32 pm, the app clearly indicated that there were autos available in the area. However, at 12:34, said autos disappear ! For people like me, whose 3G internet conks off and resuscitates at unpredictable times, this can be extremely inconvenient.
Also, if you’re living around Pitampura, good luck, since I could never seem to find an uberAUTO operating in that area.
POST 8:30 PM PHENOMENON
The best part though, is yet to come. Post 8:30, there are no autos. Even the evergreen CP fails in that regard. That’s right, ladies and gentlemen, after 8:30, you’ll have better luck convincing that random autowallah to drop you at your doorstep than at hailing an uberAUTO.
Clearly, if Uber had set out thinking they wanted to provide good auto service to Delhities, they’ve failed, big time. Which is extremely sad when you think about it dear reader, since, let’s be honest, our expectations weren’t very high to begin with.
OUR VERDICT : A trial period on Uber’s part would serve them well, since better service is on the top of their agenda nowadays. For now, it’s better to just stick to the old stuff and #GoRetro.