Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Auto Driver or Gunda?


I just had a terrible experience with an auto driver. The vehicle number is KA 41 1504. The driver's name is Reddy

Image Source: http://coloringpages101.com/printable_page/368/Vehicle_Transport/Auto_Rikshaw


I took the auto from Fortis Hospital at Bannerghatta to Electronic city Phase 1. As usual no auto drivers were ready to come by meter. Finally a rate of 300 Rs was fixed with this guy.

Since I was unwell, I told him to take via the Silkboard road. Instead he took via some alleys, full of speed bumps and bad roads now and then. And finally when he dropped me at my destination, he demanded more since the drop location was about 3-4 kms inside from the main road.

I argued that I have been dropped here before for the same rate and to that he started screaming. Argument is not what mattered to me, but his language and tone. He was screaming unnecessarily on the top of his voice for no reason when I was not being disrespectful. I kept mentioning that there was no reason for him to raise his voice as I'm talking politely.

For that he went on to talk that he is a "Reddy" and flaunting what he could do etc.

I told him that he was wrong in the eyes of law that he did not switch on the meter and now he is arguing for more money.

I finally asked how much he was expecting as this was beginning to worsen my headache. He said extra 80 rs for 4 kms. I told him that it was not going to happen and gave him 330 rs as total instead. For which he said "what will happen with 30 rs".

By that time, I had heard enough of him and I said 30 rs is a big amount for me and that if he doesn't want it, I will keep it with me. To which, he almost threw the money at me and started screaming more. So much that all the security guards and people were beginning to gather.

Then just as soon as I was about to get down, he snatched the money from my hand. (Obviously he wasn't gonna let it go!) He was beaming with anger for no apparent reason.

The security guard helped me out of the auto and I told the auto driver again to be respectful and talk properly. I reminded him again that he is wrong to have NOT switched the meter on and that I could take him to a concerned official and his license maybe cancelled.

To which he said he doesn't care about all that and he knows how to manage that. I noted his number and walked away while he was still screaming behind me.

This was a really disturbing experience for me. This is not the first time I have argued. But this is the first time someone has spoken as rudely as this guy. I'm quite amazed that I still managed to keep calm. He did not deserve it though...

I rarely take auto rickshaws... Now I'm going to outright ban them from my life! I'm not sure if I have conveyed the rudeness of that driver enough here. Wish I had recorded the whole thing! As simple as just starting the voice recorder on my phone.... Sigh..


P.S: I've messaged the Bangalore Traffic Police about the same via their facebook group. It's high time the auto rickshaws started using the bloody "meter"!

Image Source: http://sansui.tradeindia.com/digital-auto-rickshaw-meter-8111.html


ANDROID USERS:
Try this app. Once everyone starts using it, it will be very helpful!
https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.Vehicle_saviour
About Saviour: http://www.nextbigwhat.com/reviews-of-autos-taxis-saviour-297/

P.P.S: Some information I got off the facebook group from a civilian facing the auto rickshaw woes:
(Thanks to Mr. Chandan (as seen in the comments section) for the same)

For Refusal SMS
AUTO REF AUTO NO. LOCATION TIME OF REFUSAL
EXAMPLE: AUTO REF KA01XY1234 MG ROAD TO KORAMANGALA 5:30PM

For Overcharging
AUTO OVR AUTO NO. LOCATION TIME OF OVERCHARGING
EXAMPLE: AUTO OVR KA01XY1234 MG ROAD TO KORAMANGALA 5:30PM

SEND TO 52225 For Airtel Subscribers.
and SEND TO 9663952225 for Non-Airtel Subscribers.

The SMS hasn't worked for me though...

To register complaints against autorickshaw drivers demanding more money than normal meter fare, people can dial 080-25588444/555 and register the complaint.After the welcome message, register your complaint by a voice message. The duration is 60 seconds.

During the call, provide details like the auto’s registration number; the place (of the incident), date and time; and type of offence (whether refusal or demanding more fare).

UPDATE: July 17th 2013:
Bangalore Traffic Police has taken action. Auto driver was fined 1100 Rs, asked for a written letter of apology and given serious counselling. Click this link to see the effort by BTP :)

Update: July 20th 2013: Click here


21 comments:

  1. Chandan KundapurJuly 9, 2013 at 7:45 PM

    This can be a small consolation . You can complaint against the auto for over charging by sending an SMS to 52225 in the following format:
    AUTO OVR AUTO NO. LOCATION TIME OF REFUSAL

    ReplyDelete
  2. Hi Chandan,
    Thanks for the information. I've added the same with more details I acquired from the facebook group to the post :)

    ReplyDelete
  3. I hope you don't mind if I share this blog post on my Facebook site. I think it contains some useful information that would benefit my friends/relatives. I'm a very rare user of the auto myself and this incident really reinforces the belief in my mind that auto drivers, as a majority, are outright scoundrels.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Glad to see that the police took action on your complaint, but this is a normal occurrence that all of us face. These auto drivers are taking the whole city by ransom. In your case you had this issue with one driver so it was easy to identify and then complain but usually we have to ask several auto drivers to come to a certain destination, before we find one who agrees. In this case it becomes difficult to note down the numbers of each and every driver that refused. Instead why doesn't the Police and RTO come up with some solution to this? We can do our best and report the few that we are able to, but unless there is a fear of consequence, these drivers will never improve. At best, boycott rickshaws and go for BMTCs.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, I had to go through that initial asking around too. Then finally had to agree on a pre-fixed amount by one and carry on.

      What you wrote is all true. My complain was more on the verbal misbehaviour. So probably quick action was called for it.

      But yes, we need a proper system, where the meter is actually put to use; else like u said, people should boycott the rickshaws how much ever possible!

      Delete
  5. I am glad the police officials replied. Good lck

    ReplyDelete
  6. Vehicle has been seized and fined now :) Thanks for complaining against this !

    ReplyDelete
  7. Salute you Purnima. Though I have a CAR,dont take Auto but Police should take serious actions against these kind of Auto drivers. I felt happy when I heard police has taken action but a fear in mind if that guy is involved in some political party to harm you or anyone else. I keep quite lot of time because this isn't my hometown and I have a kid and wife would struggle because of these kind of rituals. Good work though. I guess you understand. You might be thinking this guy is scared but its only because of my family and their dependency on me.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Good work Purnima, when I was commenting , my wife was next to me and ask not to write anything because people will make a note of you and try to harm you..I agree with her but some point of time I feel we need to draw attention to police. Being a non bangalrean, if you ask me, I am scared of taking risks and not involving these kind of matters. No because I am scared but looking at my wife and kid and their future.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. So true Suresh. I've been extra cautious since the day I filed a complaint and doubly cautious now

      Delete
  9. Hi Purnima, If you don't mind, can I share the link to this blog on my facebook wall. This page has lot of useful information which might be useful for people using Auto in Bangalore.

    ReplyDelete
  10. Hey, why don't you check
    http://autowale.in/service/how-it-works/

    I've been using this service, and I'm very much satisfied with it...

    Regards,
    Bharat

    ReplyDelete
  11. Good top know there has been response against this incident.
    Well done Purnima.
    But just…. not all auto fellows are bad as you think.. yes the majority are !@#$%^S but not all..

    Ive had an experience where i was almost stabbed… seriously.. but that was 4 years ago.
    Then i decided to buy a motor-bike.. riding ever since.. :)
    But the other day i had to take an auto to satellite bus stop, from cox town. The guys was a respectfully older gentleman, and i could only say.. he did a grt job.

    I suggest we should also start off something.. to credit the auto guys who are respectful and fair at their jobs..
    Something to bring build their status as well…
    Im think….. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. True Kenz.

      I have marked good reviews for auto guys in the app (Saviour) I mentioned in this post.

      However, there are very few rickshaw drivers who are willing to travel via meter. If everyone decided on meter travel, more than half of this behviour can be reduced :)

      Delete
    2. Quite shocking incident you had to go through! Almost stabbed is a very scary experience!!

      Delete

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