A larger number of users of cab-hailing platforms are now facing instances of drivers cancelling trips after finding the destination, the mode of payment for the fare, or a combination of both, according to the findings of a survey.
As much as 84% of the respondents to the survey conducted by community social media platform LocalCircles between September 2023 and January this year said they had experienced ride cancellations by drivers over these issues, compared with 79% two years ago.
About 75% of the 11,119 respondents chose ride cancellation as the top issue they face when using ride-hailing services, followed by surge pricing, waiting times, safety, driver courteousness and vehicle cleanliness. While drivers often cancelled the trip after finding the destination, they preferred direct payment of the fare instead of digital transfer through the platform of the cab aggregator.
“It appears more the demand – given the higher traffic with things normalising (after the pandemic) – the worse are the experiences of consumers,” a report based on the survey said.
The entry of new players in app-based taxi market and government regulations have had a minimal impact in improving the user experience, according to LocalCircles.
New players such as BluSmart, inDrive and Rapido are helping consumers to have more choices when they need a ride in a market led by Ola and Uber, but their limited reach has failed to make a significant qualitative impact on the user experience, as per the survey.
In May 2022 the government issued notices to taxi aggregators citing deficiency in services and other allegedly unfair trade practices. However, it has made a negligible impact on overall experience. Seven out of ten respondents answered in the negative when asked if unfair trade practices have reduced.
The survey was based on responses from app-taxi users from 276 districts of India, conducted via the LocalCircles platform.
In addition to ride cancellations, surge pricing and long waiting times were the other issues flagged by the respondents. Also, 82% of surveyed people said the government should bring basic common standards for shared services like app-taxi aggregators and their drivers.