I had been booking with Meru Cabs for my intra-city travels specially where being in time was of primary importance. And their reliability had been the major factor in being a loyal customer for years now. In fact, even though the number of such services have multiplied, Meru has been the service of choice for me. Only when they haven't been able to confirm a booking request would I look for alternatives.
However, one incident in the past week has changed the entire perception.
Had to take a flight in the morning. Keeping in mind the rush hour traffic and potential weather related exigencies, the cab was booked a day in advance. And was happy in the knowledge that the booking request had been confirmed via both sms and e-mail.
On the morning of the flight, at the fixed time, got ready to go but no cab came and neither was there any message. A little worried about missing the flight, I called up Meru. After being on hold for a few minutes, the message is conveyed that no cabs are available. And a cab "might" be arranged if someone becomes available. On being asked why was the booking confirmed, was told the slots were available at the time of booking. But now no cab is available. Now whatever this was supposed to mean.
A furious me then took the luggage and walked over to the nearest taxi stand (some 0.5 km away) and managed to hail a black and yellow cab. A few minutes later got a call from one Meru driver but I just said no thanks. Given the half an hour delay in the drama, was lucky to reach the airport barely in time and managed to board my flight.
What really pissed me off, thought, was not the cab not turning up, but the fact that Meru Cabs made no effort in communicating the issue. And there was absolutely no apology from their side. Taking a customer for granted. The chief reason for taking a Meru had been reliability but they had failed completely in this regard. Hence have decided that will not be using the Meru services in the future. After all there are multiple operators in this business now.
Now I also needed to vent out my anger. So during my taxi ride to the airport, tweeted about it. Got a couple of responses that a Meru not turning up inspite of a "confirmed" booking is not an uncommon issue (though it happened to me for the first time). After some time got a reply from Meru Cares handle asking to for issue details. However, I had already resolved the issue and had also resolved never again to use Meru's services. And getting a standardized automated response from a bot doesn't actually help in any issue resolution.
So Good-bye Meru Cabs, you won't be taking me for a ride ever again.