Smartphone usage in Pakistan has increased drastically over the last decade. It has made our lifestyle more convenient in a lot of ways. Be it ordering food or calling a taxi, everything can now be easily done through mobile applications.
App-based taxi services, in particular, are nothing less than a blessing for Pakistanis. It has made commuting not only easy but also very convenient.
For Karachiites, in the absence of a proper mass transit system, these ride-sharing service act as a saviour, sometimes literally. For example, if you’re late for a meeting and unable to get on a bus due to a CNG strike, you can always get a cab via your phone. However, the other side of the story is that some people have reservations about these apps as they think their charges are exorbitant and that they might get into some sort of trouble if they avail their services. So, if you also have similar concerns, here are a few things you should keep in mind before using ride-hailing apps.
Read Terms & Conditions Carefully
Any unfavourable incident that could occur when people are using ride-hailing apps can mostly be a result of negligence of people. Being unaware of the terms and conditions of a particular company running an app-based taxi service is a fine example of such type of negligence. Terms of Service communicated by a particular company operating a ride-hailing application would answer most of your queries related to fare policy and other important matters. These are also a form of an agreement that a user essentially signs before making use of a service.
Booking A Ride
Starting with the very basic but tricky step. The existence of GPS and digital maps has made it easy for the app companies to track your location. Once you add your ‘Pick up’ and ‘Drop Off’ point, the ride-sharing app gives you an estimated fare. Your location is digitally provided to the driver, who will pick you up. Things go smoothly as long as you have inserted the right ‘Pick up’ location, but if it is misleading, then you might have to face delay or, worse, even cancellation. So, try setting the map pin on your pickup location manually or get in touch with the driver and communicate your actual location over a call.
Sometimes when you are using ride-hailing apps, a peak surcharge is applied in order to effectively cover the incremental charges that may occur when the gap between demand and supply is the widest. After the application of peak surcharge, an increased amount of fare is shown to the customers of ride-sharing app, regardless of the destination they select. In case, a customer has missed out noticing the peak surcharge at the time when they are booking a ride, they might think that they have been overcharged when an extra amount is charged at the end of the ride. So, to avoid unpleasant experiences, it is better to properly check the estimated ride fare for your destination at the time of booking a ride.
The Feature Of Wallet
If you are habitual of using ride-hailing apps in Pakistan, then you must be familiar with the facility of a digital wallet. It is a very good feature for customers as they can also ride cashless, if they have enough amount in their wallet. To top up your wallet, you can actually pay some extra amount to the driver and ask them to credit it. Another way of topping up your wallet is through online payments with the help of your credit/debit card. Payments made through the wallet is a good alternative to cash and makes travelling around the city through a ride-sharing service more convenient for people. You can either select or deselect the option of using your wallet for your ride fare.
Ride-sharing apps in Pakistan offer the feature of online payments. Credit/debit cards of many famous banks can be used to serve the purpose. It is a feature similar to the wallet, however, in case of online payments, you have to insert your card number and other required details. After a few confirmation steps, for security reasons, you would be able to use your card to pay the ride fare. It also works best for you if you don’t want to carry cash while travelling.
At the end of every ride, a message pops up on your screen where you are asked to rate the drivers based on your ride experience. These ratings act as the feedback provided by you to the companies operating ride-sharing app, based on which, they retain or improve the level of the services they provide. People can rate drivers using a five-star rating system, depending on their behaviour and driving skills. If you have faced serious problems during your ride, you can always get in touch with the helpline of such companies and also email them.
Getting Help with Ride Issues
One of the best features of using ride-hailing apps in Pakistan is the complaint registration system. Every app-based taxi service follows its own SOP, for example, some of these companies take queries and complaints via calls while others resolve issues only through emails. However, timing matters when it comes to notifying the ride-sharing company about issues, if you’re looking for timely solutions. Therefore, try to be as prompt as possible.