This one’s for Consumer Awareness. A colleague recently changed my life when she told me about this. So thought I should share it here. If you are a Mumbaikar, tired sick of the tyranny of Mumbai’s cab drivers, have no fear. Long-awaited panaceas is here.
In Mumbai parlance, our cabbies ‘seem to want to go only to Dubai’. That should about sum up what I am talking about. Ever been late to work, for an important meeting, for receiving a loved one at the airport because there just are no cabs ready to take you there? Me too. Ever had to grudgingly pay them 10-20 bucks extra to just do their job? Me too. Well, not anymore.
So apparently, there is a Mumbai police website where you can report the license plate number of a cab driver who refused to take you somewhere. Anywhere. I have been using it for only a few days now, but my colleague apparently used it for a year before she decided it was too much trouble. Which is something I fail to understand given the miracles it’s been working for me this past week. She also tells me that they really take action against the cabs you report. You mention the license plate number, the date, time and place where the incident took place and the kind of hell the devil put you through. And they actually get back to you on the action taken in the reported case!
Reporting-rogue-cabbbies for dummies:
Go to the Mumbai Traffic Police website (http://www.trafficpolicemumbai.org/). On the left panel, click on the bottom-most link: “Traffic Complaint Form”.
Or just click here.
Fill in the required personal details. Write out your complaint letter. I used this format to report each rogue cabbie:
Taxi license number: MH 1 AM 7630
Date: 26 April 2010
Approximate Time: 7pm
Refused to ply to: Sion Circle
The only rider here is you have to be 110% sure that you got all the details right. Even the time is important. The same cab is driven by different drivers during different parts of the day, remember? (Saving one innocent is worth letting hundreds of villains go. Or something Bollywoody to that effect.)
Tada! Mumbai Police thanks you with a dancing canary for your feedback. And from what I hear from my colleague, they actually write back to you on the action taken. (Yes. In India!)
Ever since I’ve heard about this, trust me, I’ve struck gold.
Case study: I ask a cabbie to take me to BKC. He shakes his head in that omnipotent manner of theirs. Out comes my notepad and pen. “What’s your number”, I say just for the effect as I look pointedly at the license plate. I proceed to note down the number with much fanfare and flourish. Suddenly, our man is not so smug anymore. He half-jumps out of the window and asks me, “Which BKC? The one in Bandra?”
“Yes, the one in Bandra.” I can see how he was confused earlier, considering as BKC only stands for Bandra Kurla Complex.
“Oh. In that case, come come.”, he mumbles as he puts the damned dilapidated thing into gear.
The pen, indeed, is mightier than the sword. Try it next time. It really works!