Ola allowed themselves to be scammed?

Uber is the better choice of ride hailing apps for me, between Uber & Ola, which is the Indian competitor to Uber. Now, I’ve had my fair share of good experiences and bad experiences with both the companies, something I could write a book about someday. Here are a few of my bad experiences with Ola. And recently, it seems, to increase the up take of the Ola Select program, Ola has dumbed down the customer service to zilch! Read these tweets for more details:

However, this is not even about my own experience. But more about how Ola, which is a well-funded company from private investors, is perhaps looking the other way when malpractices are coming through left right and center on their platform. Seems the only metric to look out for is the number of rides and cars on the platform, and hence they won’t move a finger when wrong practices happen. I chanced upon this narration on Twitter today, and it is alarming. I’d first request you to go through the Tweets if you have time:

The summary of the story is that Ola had a wind of the fact that their systems were being exploited, but they did not do a thing about it for a while. There are of course multiple other stories I’ve heard myself about Ola system being gamed. Here is another story on similar lines.

What I am scratching my head about is, that since Ola anyways tries and copies most of their features from Uber, why don’t they just go ahead and make their Indianised systems gameproof to be able to make a next generation ridesharing company rather than just one that lives for the present. I mean, there are enough risk and fraud control professionals in this country because every business including Banking needs them.

How does this impact you?

I’m sure this company needs to make money someday and not be running losses forever. So, when the day will come to make a profit, we will be paying for a part of the losses incurred in paying these 11000 fake drivers. Also the fake surge pricing that comes along with 11000 drivers being engaged in fraud are something to be wondering about.


I was almost under the impression that OlaCabs got better with time, but does not seem that is the case.

Readers, have you had any similar experiences with OlaCabs?

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About Ajay

Ajay Awtaney is the Founder and Editor of Live From A Lounge (LFAL), a pioneering digital platform renowned for publishing news and views about aviation, hotels, passenger experience, loyalty programs, travel trends and frequent travel tips for the Global Indian. He is considered the Indian authority on business travel, luxury travel, frequent flyer miles, loyalty credit cards and travel for Indians around the globe. Ajay is a frequent contributor and commentator on the media as well, including ET Now, BBC, CNBC TV18, NDTV, Conde Nast Traveller and many other outlets.

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  1. true that,, since the uber sell off in chian something has change, 5% discount on using ola money has vanished, availability of drivers has come down and the price has gone up, I am about to go for my own car now as there is no uber in rajahmundry ( daily customer of Ola for last 1 year – to & fro home-office).

  2. Many of the Ola’s driver reject the trip, after you call them and tell drop off point, else say they are very far away, even though on app location is nearby. Reminds me of Rickshaws/ taxis.

    Uber is good.

  3. I guess its all about valuations of the company and how it works. Its not just ola. Just about all startups allow themselves to be scammed to show higher number of users/customers so that they can bevalued higher.

    Last year came across this article where foodpanda allowed itself to be scammed. They didnt even need a gps faker. http://www.livemint.com/Companies/rYKC6HjnShogjE62jO5lpK/The-trouble-with-Foodpanda.html

    But I have my own doubts about creating 125 unique ola ids on each non calling tab. 2-3 years ago when I started using ola, The refferal program was generous about 200-250 per referral. I used to register all my family and friends with my referal on my phone. This way I would get both side referall benefits. About 15-17 referals later my login in ola was blocked and neither was I able to register a new id. They tracked multiple ids on same imei. I had to call them and request them to let me use my original id.
    Even uber has a limit to the number of ids u can use on one device. Too many logins and logout and they block your account. Had to email them as well to request to enable me to book rides.

  4. What is the difference between flying Spicejet vs Indigo if they both service the same route that you want? No difference at all apart from a different logo.

    It’s the same with Ola and Uber. A commoditised business where one rider and one ride in isolation doesn’t mean anything. What options do you have anyway? It’s a duopoly, you can bounce back and forth, eventually there’s no option either way.

  5. I swore off Ola recently after their adamant stance on an obviously overcharged fare. My regular route and distance, with no wait time, no surge pricing, and no traffic. But there was a 30% hike in fare suddenly.

    They refused to resolve it — never mind I was a customer since they started operations. Customer service in the past would refund/adjust the cost in a trice, but no more. I even copied the CEO in my emails.

    So they lost a regular long time customer to Uber.

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