12+ Common issues faced by Zoomcar customers! - eNidhi India Travel Blog

12+ Common issues faced by Zoomcar customers!

Below is a list of common issues faced by Zoomcar customers

1 No guarantee of car allocation

Earlier Zoomcar used to own the cars, had physical garages where these cars are parked and people to manage them, so quality of service was good. But now Zoomcar has gone asset light- they don’t seem to own any cars (or most cars are taken away by lessors for non payment of EMI during lockdown period) and have only host provided white board cars on their fleet.


This is creating following issues

No clarity which of the hosts are listing their cars for what duration- Zoomcar doesn’t want to lose booking revenue, so accepts all bookings without knowing if cars are available or not, only 3-4 hours prior to booking start time they scramble to check which car can be allocated to a booking. In most cases they fall short of cars (particularly on weekends) and customers get cancellation message last minute, too late to make alternate plans.

Zoomcar probably has some optimization logic- doesn't matter how early you book-if there are more bookings than available number of cars, bookings with maximum revenue will be honored


while others either get a different car (if available)

  • Those who booked automatic car may get manual,
  • Those who book SUV may get hatchback/sedan,
  • Those who booked 7 seater get 5 seater etc
  • Those who booked luxury car may get a normal car

or a car at a far away location or a car which is broken down and unfit for taken out for a trip


in many cases their booking cancelled automatically without compensation.


This means the reliability of Zoomcar has gone down to zero. There is high chance that you won’t get a car, or if you get it could be different from what you’d booked or in different part of town, communicated to you just an hour prior, too late to change your plans


2 Run all around the city to collect your car

Zoomcar can allocate a car in any remote corner of the city and several times for each booking.  Customers have to go there at their own expense- good luck getting Uber/Ola for reaching some random location 50 kms away from booking location, find no cars, call customer care, another car may be assigned 30 kms away, repeat till you get lucky or frustrated.


Once Zoomcar had doorstep drop and pickup- but those vendors were not paid so doorstep delivery  option is not available now. Hosts park by the roadside, no signboard, no zoomcar branding, no clue to anyone even if you ask some locals for help/guidance. Could be a slum, spot with poor road access or an area unsafe for someone to enter alone in the dark.  You’re on your own and at your own risk trying to find your car.


Because of asset light model, no real time inventory and poor planning in vehicle allocation, customers will have to suffer.


3 Poorly maintained cars

Zoomcar no longer owns the cars. They are listing whiteboard cars from hosts for rental. As hosts are not getting paid properly, they have no motivation to spend on upkeep of the cars.

  • A proper cleaning of a car- interior and exterior costs 1000 Rs
  • Wheel alignment costs 1000 Rs
  • A set of new wheels cost 20000-30000 Rs
  • Battery costs 3000-5000 Rs
  • Clutch plate, suspension and other components cost lot to replace

Many damages caused by previous customers (AC, tyre, suspension, engine etc) Zoomcar doesn't repair or compensate hosts and hosts have no motivation to keep spending from their pocket.


Rental customers do not care for cars as they don’t own it and abuse it. Many of the above damages/wear and tear can’t be effectively checked after each booking and can’t be attributed to a specific customer. But overall hosts suffer the impact of reduced life span and increased maintenance cost. Hosts have no motivation to keep spending like this as their earning is too low and delayed, while Zoomcar obviously wants to be asset light and not spend on any repair or maintenance. The result is end customer getting poorly maintained cars, which may breakdown any time, spoiling your entire trip


4. No Road side assistance

If your rental car breaks down, do not expect any support or roadside assistance. Customer care takes an hour to reach and has no practical resolutions to offer. In most cases customers are asked to get the car repaired at their own expense and then reimbursement is denied citing silly reasons like they need bill with GST or video proof of repairs or damage is due to bad driving by customer and things like that. 


Also one zoomcar employee will promise refund to get rid of the annoyed customer but someone else will say “this is due to bad driving, we won’t pay” at the time of reimbursement.


As a customer be ready to risk accidents or lose several hours by the roadside trying to fix the car and then spend weeks following up and fighting for refund.


5 Reimbursement calculation issues and delays

Customers are encouraged to return the car full tank, but their fuel reimbursement is delayed and often only part of the bill is refunded citing silly reasons, forcing customers to fight back, complain on social media and swear not to book zoomcar again.


Repair bill reimbursement is delayed or denied citing reasons like they need GST bill, video proof or the damage is due to negligent driving.


6 Customer care only if there is live booking & ineffective to resolve any issues

Zoomcar customer care is now accessible only if you have a live booking- not before, not after

Even if you manage to call, be ready to wait for hours and even if you manage to connect, most of the time customer care has no practical solution on offer, other than promising someone will get back to you.


No escalation matrix, no call back, no resolution to most of the commonly found problems.


7. Getting caught by law enforcement

If previous customer has not paid traffic challan, police may catch you while you’re driving the car next time. Your DL may be seized like it happened with this customer.


If police find out that you’re driving a white board car on rental, you may face confiscation, fine or other issues.


Besides these trouble, zoomcar will charge you penalty for not returning the car, while the mistake is on their side.


8. Too much automation and a faulty app

Now Zoomcar doesn’t have any human to deal with when picking up or returning a car. You’ve to rely 100% on the app- often the app doesn’t work- won’t let you start or end a trip or report a problem or throws up other issues. It may fail to unlock the car or show you wrong car/wrong location etc. 

  • There is no car at the pickup location or car is not starting or in pathetic state, but app has no clue. It will flag you as no show and charge you 100% of the booking amount
  • App can change car type or location at will but won’t compute price difference and compensation for the inconvenience caused to you
  • You might have returned the car and gone home, but if trip has not ended in app,you will be charged more.
  • You were asked to park by the roadside and someone else damaged the car after you left- you may be charged a penalty
  • You’ve returned full tank but app thinks otherwise- no refund to you
  • You could be locked out of the car middle of nowhere citing some overdue payment in the past.

9. Refunds in credits

In most cases zoomcar gives refund as credit points which can only be used for future bookings. This is usually worthless as next booking also you are likely to get issues. It will be a fight to get zoomcar to credit money into your bank accounts.


10. Fraudulent charges

Many customers are complaining that Zoomcar suddenly comes up with demand for extra payment just before trip start, giving some silly excuse that 5 years ago some refund was paid twice or some other charge is pending or things like that. These are not brought up while accepting new booking but only just before booking start time. A customer can't start your trip without paying extra, no support person to talk to. Very clever way to milk their customers and make more money.


11. Host refuses to give cars

Zoomcar allocates a car, customer goes to said location, there car owner refuses to handover the car.


Car owners have their own set of concerns

  • They might have asked Zoomcar to remove the tracking device and they wish to exit host program but Zoomcar has not removed the tracker device
  • Zoomcar has not responded to their demands for repairing the damage, settling pending challans or missing payments, so host is not willing to risk their cars again giving it to next customer.

Hosts have their own set of challenges dealing with Zoomcar- I have a detailed post here.

Customer has to now struggle with zoomcar support for an alternate vehicle which may or may not be available or a refund that may take ages.


12. Harassment for no fault of theirs

  • Customer has a flight to catch but the app is not allowing closure of booking and there is no one to help. Customer care may ask to leave the car saying they will remotely lock and 2 days later customer is slapped with late payment fee
  • Customer is unable to locate a car or start the car due to its faults, but as per the app trip has been started and customer will be charged fully
  • Many such cases of harassment cases are reported by Zoomcar customers for no fault of theirs

Aware of more issues faced by Zoomcar customer? Do comment.


India is not labor intensive like west- would have been lot smooth if Zoomcar had few fleet executives to manage their cars during delivery and collection. Too much automation not covering several scenarios has made Zoomcar experience a pain.


Asset light model hasn’t worked for many companies including Ola, Uber, Oyo etc. Even after a decade these startups are not profitable. Zoomcar also yet to make any profit but hasn’t learnt its lessons and doesn’t seem to be keen to address concerns of their customers and hosts.



2 comments:

  1. Online services in India are still not matured and most of the time Customercare doesn’t pick up

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes. They don't want to plan for things that can go wrong and compensation process. Keeping call center costs money so they try to manage with chatbot and email support

      Delete

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