Meru Cabs | "Rely on us" - Really?

Written by Harsh Jegadeesan on 11:53 AM

Meru cabs - a radio taxi service operating in Mumbai, Delhi, Hyderabad and Bangalore says "Rely On Us". The Meru brand in their own words is "a symbol of our commitment to unshakeable reliability- the heart of our promise to our customers". Further, they claim that "It is this promise of reliability that drives us at Meru Cabs to endeavor to provide the most efficient services every time to our customers" (see Meru's Philosophy)

Really? For me, Meru is a perfect example of big brand, brag commitments but bad experience - totally bad and unreliable experience!

I booked a Meru cab for 21.30 PM last night (reference no. 323 08/11/2009). I wanted to go to the railway station, a 25 km ride from my home, to catch a train at 22.45 PM. At 21.00 I got a text message saying that a cab has been allotted. At 21.25 when I got no call from the driver, I tried calling him but his phone was unreachable. I called the call center and I was told that Meru's system already shows I was "picked up". When I told him I was still at home, he said that the cab is on the way and he will ask the driver to give me a call. At 21.39, when I got no call I called them again and I was told by a person that the driver is "not traceable" and that a new cab was being sent to pick me and it will reach me in "couple of minutes".

When nothing happened in "couple of minutes" and it was already getting late, I finally got the call from the driver who told me he will be there in another 15 mins and that he was told to go pick me up just then. Meanwhile, I really wanted to understand Meru's liability if someone misses a train, flight or an important meeting due to a late cab. I called their call center and asked for the information department, after I asked the agent about liability, did not understand. He put me on hold. After the hold time, someone else picked up the call, and this person did not know I was in hold and was seeking information. As I could figure out, the person I had spoke to earlier had just vanished very impolitely. So much already for "Relying on Meru". I asked the agent to put me in touch with his manager and he did reluctantly.

Finally, I spoke to Gargi - the manager, Gargi told me that they have 'technical problems' in their end. I did not want to waste my time and I asked her if she worked for Meru or for a call center. She said she works for Meru and she does really cares about Meru and it's customers. By this time it was already 21.55 and I still had to go 25 kms to catch my train. I walked down from my apartment to look for another mode of transport, by now giving up most of the hopes of catching the train. When I was down, I finally saw a Meru cab driving towards me. I was still talking to Gargi and she did not have answers about "reliability" , "time guarantee" and "liability". When I asked her if Meru was liable if I missed the train and subsequently an important appointment - she said I could call the call center and give them "feedback". She also said that I will get a call from Meru in 24-hrs explaining the whole "screw up" (update: it's been 48-hrs and there has been no call and I don't see any call too in the future). I asked her if there was a reference number for the complaint, she said there was no need for it and I will surely get the call.

On my way I told the cab driver my story, he had so many complaints against the call center. He said there was a "huge problem" with Meru's operations center and most of the drivers were very unhappy with Meru. He was also suggesting that I use Easy Cabs or CEL cabs as they were much more reliable. So much for employee engagement. I finally reached the station 4 mins before the departure and ran all the way to board my train. I could make it only because of the driver's creativity, skill and reckless driving.

When I called my wife and narrated my experience, she told me her horror story with Meru. She had to take a train at 6.00 AM in the morning. We are 7 months pregnant and she wanted a comfortable journey to the railway station. She "relied on Meru". The cab was late, the driver was rash and reckless and she had to run with her luggage to make it to the train. She vowed she will never call Meru again. She had told all her friends about her bad experience with Meru and almost unanimously everyone seemed to agree as they had their own bad experiences to narrate.

Before writing this blog, I googled "Meru" to see if the crowd shared similar experiences. Not surprisingly, I found so many blogs and reviews (see Mouth Shut's reviews), all narrating horror stories about Meru's reliability. Not sure why it is hard for Mr. Neeraj Gupta and his team along with India value fund - their investors, to see the brewing customer anger against Meru and its false promises. In my opinion, Meru will close shop in less than 2-yrs if they don't clean up their act! (I am no Oracle to predict, but I can see this from my CEL cabs experience).

Will I rely on Meru again? Are you kidding me! Neeraj are you listening?

If you have had bad experiences with Meru, please post your comments.

  1. 44 comments: Responses to “ Meru Cabs | "Rely on us" - Really? ”

  2. By amsharma on November 9, 2009 at 10:38 AM

    I have never tried Meru. I always use cel cabs and have rarely had any problems with their service.

  3. By Raghu on January 7, 2010 at 8:09 PM

    Count me as the latest Victim
    i've just had one such experience, and i think this will surely hurt Meru as we spread the truth about this. Either Meru sorts itself out or we throw them out. Oh and by the way this is Meru in Bangalore, i dont quite know how it is elsewhere.

    - Raghu

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  41. By srushti on April 19, 2011 at 1:48 PM

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  42. By srushti on April 19, 2011 at 2:41 PM

    The situation you were in I quite understand. But I have always had a good experience with MERU Mumbai. No other cab here is a match with Meru. The cab was always before time and information by the call center and drivers were always well communicated. I think such miscommunication happens because the demand for a Meru Cab is so much that they might be having problems in coping with the demands leading to such a situation. As far if you ask me I have always had a good experience. Also the cab always arrived before time.

  43. By Piu on October 21, 2011 at 1:45 PM

    I request every sensible person in Bangalore who has a bit respect towards their hard earned money, not to hire a Meru cab ever.
    I am a recent victim of Meru cab service Bangalore.

    Scene 1. I booked the cab from Murgespalya to New airport through mobile calling Meru Customer care number at 3.30 pm and asked for a cab by 5 pm. They told they don have a cab in service by 4.30, they can send early by 4.15 pm. I said ok. I asked the customer care executive about the general fare just to get an idea how much it comes, he told 15/mtr it comes as 600 Rs. like that. I asked him if any extra charge is applicable as I am booking 1 hr before, he said a polished and streached NO and said that nothing apart from 15/rs per mtr charge.

    Scene 2. : The driver (Ganesh) called by 4 pm and asked route, he neither knows English nor Hindi. Somehow I explained him route with great difficulty. He told he has some pick up at Indiaranagar and can come only by 4.30 pm . That crack fellow came by 4.45 after ringing him 3 times.

    Scene 3: I asked driver to take the normal MG road, he told in half English half kannada it would be traffic jam, he cant take that route. I repeatedly insisted him to take that route, he kept on muttering something in Kannada and did not pay any heed to. Readers, please note: traffic jam in Bangalore is at top only by 5.30 pm, whereas it was 4.45 pm when we started. That rowdy driver was so disgusting, I thought of calling customer care service that point of time, but had to reconsider thinking of flight time of my parents.

    Scene 4: The driver Ganesh took his easy comfortable bypass roads (went through Hennur and all those outskirt places), lastly when he dropped us to airport the charge was 725/- (ya 25/- was charged extra by meru cab service demanding that I booked cab 30 mins before which is utterly wrong). He was not giving us time even to get down and was hurrying up like anything. I told him I am not giving you the amount, you didn come through the route I told and you cant make me pay extra bucks for a stretched route. I was holding 750/- in my hand and was taking out 600/- of that to give him. In a blink of eye, he snatched the money from my hand and drove away. I tried to catch him through airport traffic, no gain.

    The funniest part of Meru service: I logged a complaint at that very moment to Meru customer care reporting the driver's behavior and asking for the extra charge justification. They took my mail id etc... etc... , 4 days over, no reply from them.

  44. By Rajat Sharma on July 9, 2015 at 1:50 PM

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