Careem,

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Zeeshan Khan |

Careem which was set to revolutionize the ‘transport’ system in the country seems to have failed miserably in its promise of providing quality rides to its customers. From constant and inexplicable ‘peak factors’ to unprofessional captains, the residents of twin cities are getting increasingly frustrated with this ‘quality’ ride.

I have been using Careem for commuting from my home in Rawalpindi to my office & university in Islamabad for almost two years now. It is indeed true that ‘Careem’ did its utmost, initially, to provide quality rides to customers. Both the Captains and their rides were having a good time using this service. However, with the passage of time, once the company started accumulating profits, it started ignoring its most valuable asset: the customers.

Last month, my total fare on Careem was 18,456 rupees (if I pay 4000 more, I can get a car from the bank on a lease which I am going to do Insha Allah). In the early days of this service in twin cities, it was a manageable 11,000.

In the past three months, I have noticed that the conditions of cars and the behavior of the Captains have deteriorated. Whenever a Captain is asked for a reason for his rudeness, he simply blames the Careem for reducing the trip charges in addition to ‘weird’ customers he deals with daily. The entire 40 minutes’ ride passes in his protestations. However, whenever a ride ends, the charges fall like a bombshell on me but the consolation from the Captain that it is much less than the ‘taxi fares’ bodes well with me. But the reality has slowly unveiled itself.

Read more: Are Uber and Careem empowering women in Pakistan?

Whenever I book a ride in the morning to ‘carry myself’ to the office, I am welcomed by a smiling emoticon followed by a ‘peak factor’ indicator. 2.2, 2.1, 1.7, 1.5, 1.4 peak factors etc. are common these days. It forces me to wait an extra few minutes in a hope that the ‘compassionate Careem’ might reduce the peak factor that may ‘boost’ me to finally book a ride. These ‘extra’ few minutes normally range from 20 to 45.

Once all hope is lost and the fear of a ‘simmering boss’ waiting to welcome me overtakes my thoughts, I have to take the ‘difficult’ decision to accept the ‘reality’ and book a ride. Once the ride ends, I have to pay ‘400-550’ rupees for the 16 km between my home and office (normal fare charges from Monday to Friday). Despite paying this amount, I am mostly reminded by the boss of not being punctual and should be ready for ‘fines & pay deductions’ for being late. Little does he know of my feelings at that time?

From constant and inexplicable ‘peak factors’ to unprofessional captains, the residents of twin cities are getting increasingly frustrated with this ‘quality’ ride.

Anyhow, when the day ends, I again book a ride to take me to my ‘little heaven’. Once again, peak factors welcome me but this time ‘Careem’ keeps them at 1.2, 1.3 etc. I again have to take the ‘bitter pill’ with a hope that all will be fine.

Moreover, whenever a dispute arises, Careem fails to address the issue after giving ‘reassurances’ that the matter at hand will be dealt with. To this day, none of the reservations and complaints I put before Careem has been addressed.

Read more: Could collaboration with NADRA make Uber/Careem more secure?

Last month, my total fare on Careem was 18,456 rupees (if I pay 4000 more, I can get a car from the bank on a lease which I am going to do Insha Allah). In the early days of this service in twin cities, it was a manageable 11,000. I am now paying extra money in return for ‘poor quality service’, antagonistic Captains and the increasingly obstinate CSR’s. I have finally decided to say goodbye to another ‘love of my life’ -‘Careem’.

I hope Careem officials will work more closely with its Captains and customers to address these issues and make Careem ‘Great Again’ which might ‘reinvigorate’ my feelings for it.

(Some might recommend Uber, well I will address that issue later).

Zeeshan Khan is a political analyst. The views expressed in this article are author’s own and do not necessarily reflect the editorial policy of Global Village Space.

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