The TabCab Experience

I thought why not check out one of these new cab services in Mumbai some time. So, recently when I had to go to the International Airport on a Friday evening, I made a user registration followed by an online cab booking at the TabCab website

The earliest time you can book a cab was shown as 24 hours before the required time, so I booked exactly 24 hours in advance.

I was a bit worried, because my earlier experiences with services like Meru Cab service has not been good whenever I tried over phone or via the online booking route. So, I remained skeptical.

In order to ensure that the cab does indeed turn up at the right time, I called up 12 hours on the TabCab hotline (022 – 63636363) and talked to a lady who assured me that there was no need for any concern – I had given adequate notice and I should get the cab on time. She said that the info’ on the taxi, driver, etc., will be sent to my cell phone 45 minutes in advance. But something told me that she was reciting the same kind of answer to every caller.

As expected, there was no text message from TabCab at 10:00 PM (my booking was for 10:45 PM), and I immediately called up. There was a fudging kind of answer, saying that the customer service will call me up – I knew the response of course. I insisted I needed an immediate answer on the whereabouts and the details of the cab assigned to my booking (which was almost 24 hours old). I was promised that someone will call me up within a few minutes. Yes, the call came, and the person from TabCab told me that there was no cab available at that time for fulfilling my booking.

There goes another useless brand which failed to fulfil its promise of delivering a cab service on time, every time. I was forced to find some other option with very little time on my hand – it was completely ridiculous situation. Customer Service is a much misunderstood area in India, and is not embedded into the psyche or culture of organizations. But when a startup with a new brand trying to establish its new offering or service makes the huge mistake of letting down a customer who has taken all the precautions and preparations to book well in advance, then one can only imagine what would befall on the brand.

Do not trust TabCab, despite all the sweet talk and a working website. They do not deliver on their service commitment. Be careful with all taxi service providers, when you have a need for taxi on time. Or else, you could easily walk down on the street and take a “cool” blue cab or the usual black and yellow cab, or even an auto for short distances. Why rely on sleek advertising, call centre bluff, and nice web sites ?


Vijay Srinivasan
1st December 2012


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