Why Sri Lankan Online Cabs Are Useless In An Emergency 

Sri Lankan online 'taxi' market is largely dominated by Pickme, a local player and Uber, one of the biggest online cab companies in the world. However, the majority of Sri Lankan cab users often complain that they cannot fully depend on online cabs in an emergency, due to multiple reasons. Asian Mirror's Cocktail Circuit asked its readers as to why they considered Sri Lankan online cabs are often unreliable. Listed below are their most "popular" reasons. 
Although Pickme showed great progress within a short period of time, its app, unfortunately, has failed to maintain the same standards. Several Pickme users said the app sometimes took an excruciatingly long time to respond,  leaving them in utter disappointment.
Another common allegation against Pickme is that the availability of cabs has decreased, drastically, over the past few months. This can happen due to growing number of users. However, this suggests that the company has not strengthened its vehicle fleet to meet demanding market conditions. 
Pickme, at the outset, adopted high disciplinary standards for drivers. Initially, they were not allowed to ask the drop-off locaton  before the start of the trip. Several frequent users of the cab service told us that, over the past few month, such disciplinary standards have plummeted to unprecedented levels. 
"One driver even lied to me about his location. The app showed that he was in Pettah, but when I telephoned, he said he was in Kotikawatte. I trust technology over humans and I thought the driver was lying," a regular user of Pickme said. 
 Uber's Sri Lankan operation has already  come under fire for not maintaining basic service standards and professional ethics. For instance, several customers of Uber who contacted Asian Mirror last month said the cab service failed to meet their expectations, mainly due to faults on the part of its drivers. 

"I ordered an Uber can on a Saturday night, a week ago. My drop-off destination was 19 km away from Colombo, well-within Uber's service map," said a customer, explaining the matter. 

 "However, when i was about to get in, the driver refused to travel, saying it was a loss to him, because he would not find another hire from my drop-off destination. He asked me to find another vehicle and left within a few seconds" he added.

Another Uber customer raised the same issue, saying he ran into an issue with a driver, over the same matter. "Interestingly, when I told him that I would complain to Uber over his refusal, the driver resorted to foul language, leaving me in a state of shock. When I gave the driver's number (+94773108487 - Prasanna)  to Uber support, there was not even a response," he added. 

Due to this problem, many Sri Lankan Uber users said the company's reliability was "abysmal" when it came to emergencies. 


A common concern expressed about Pickme and Uber was the inefficiency in their customer feedback system. Many users said both Pickme and Uber kept their customers in the dark about follow-up action taken by the company, after  their complaints. 

Many regular customers also added that both Pickme and Uber were "utterly useless" on rainy days - when one needs the service of an online cab service the most! 



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