OlaCabs, commonly known as Ola, is an Indian online transportation network company. Ola started as an online cab aggregator in Mumbai, now based out in Bangalore. It was founded in Dec’ 2010 by Bhavish Aggarwal (currently CEO) and Ankit Bhati. Ola was valued at $5 billion as of September 2015. After moving to Bengaluru I have been a frequent & satisfied Ola User, even sharing my ideas & feedback with the Ola team over Emails. ‘Ola’ was my first preference, until today!
Connection Timeout! App Crash! App Hang! Long load time! Poor performance @ 3G network! And what not! Yeah! All this I encountered today while using the Ola Cabs Android App in the evening. And guess what – It’s not working now as well – What do you call it? A Critical & Priority-1 defect in production? The main App feature – “Book a ride” – is not working!
- Smartphone: Samsung Galaxy S2 GT-I9300
- Smartphone OS: Android 4.3 (Android version 4.1.x to 4.4 constitutes 56.6% Users)
- Ola Cabs App Version 3.4.18
- Ola Cabs App Size – 22.32 MB
- Launch the Ola Cabs Android App
- It asks to change device permissions to enable GPS, click OK
- Once it gets the address, Select any category (Micro, Mini, Prime or Sedan)
- Click ‘Ride Now’
- Select ‘Get your own Mini’ option
- Click ‘Confirm’
Expected: ‘Your booking is confirmed. Driver will pick you up in XYZ minutes’
Actual: ‘Uh Oh! Connection Timed Out’
7. Repeated steps 1 to 6 again & again but same error (within secs, even now also).
‘Ola’ App Retrospective
Disappointed & Surprised with crashing Ola Cabs App, I wanted to understand what went wrong. Therefore I launched the App once again (in Auto on the way to home). What I could understand is the hurried approach to launch an array of features, thus compromising on the App Quality – in the last one or two years Ola Cabs has bitten more than it can chew. Ola Cabs forgot their USP – “Book a Ride”!!
- Basic Features – Registration, GPS Location, Cab availability, Invoice, Feedback, etc.
- Ola Micro – New ‘Economy Class’ service @ Rs.6 / Km.
- Ola Mini – Ola Mini offer the same starting fare as autorickshaws, that is, Rs 10 per km but with a base fare of Rs 80 for the first four kms
- Ola Share – Ola Share lets you save up to 50% on Mini fares by allowing you to share your ride with other Ola users.
- Ola Prime – New ‘Business Class’ service [Sedans & MUV’s] @ Rs.13 / Km with a base fare of Rs 100 for the first four kms
- Ola Sedan – Redundant to Ola Prime!
- TaxiForSure – Book a TaxiForSure Hatchback right from your Olacabs app.
- Ola Auto – You can book auto-rickshaws near your location using your OlaCabs app in Bangalore, Chennai, Delhi, Pune, Hyderabad and Ahmedabad.
- Ola Shuttle – Book an Ola Shuttle for effortless and economical daily commute. Reserve a seat on shuttles traveling to your localities. Travel in comfort with AC and free WiFi. Select from conveniently located stops across the city and regular timings through the day.
- Safety Features – Send your ride details in real-time including GPS coordinates to a pre-set friend or family member of the user via SMS and email.
- Ola Money – Ola Money, powered by Zipcash, is a pre-paid instrument issued by Zipcash in co-branding with Ola, as per RBI guidelines. You can use your Ola Money to pay for everything, starting from your cab fares to your online shopping bills- wherever the Ola Money wallet is supported.
- Other App features – Book & Track rides, Rate card, Offers & Free rides & Ola Share Groups
- Ola Café – Brings the best of food, handpicked especially for you from top rated restaurants nearby. What’s more? All of that in less than 20 minutes!
- Ola Store – Separate standalone hyper local online grocery delivery service, currently available in select areas in Bangalore. Ola has partnered with offline retailers like Family Mall, Grocery Mart, Namdhari’s Fresh, PNP Retail and Top in Town.
That’s why I say ‘Mobile App Testing’ is a MUST!
Previous Emails to Ola Support team
Tue, May 5, 2015 at 8:03 PM
I am a frequent Ola user & need to give some feedback points.
1. Appreciation: I liked the call routing approach – all calls from Ola driver are being routed through Ola center, nice concept. I liked the quality of cabs I get & driver’s behavior as well.
3. Complaint: There is some additional charges at peak times. What if I need not go that far which would justify the charge-surcharge ratio? Say, my billed amount is around Rs. 100-110 & I need to pay rs.50 extra over that? Surcharge should be proportional to the billed amount.
4. Suggestion: Along with first-ride offers you can also have loyalty program for customers – say if I travel worth rs.1K, the next ride would be free (up to Rs.300 or so)
5. Suggestion: A monthly discounted plan for regular users over a regular route.
Looking forward for your reply.
Thu, Sep 24, 2015 at 3:24 PM
Hi Ola Team,
Great going guys! More & more people now prefer cabs over other transport. Had few suggestions for Ola to consider.
I stay at Bangalore & Ola might be aware of the sorry state of traffic here. I came across an idea where in Ola can help the community to contain the worst traffic.
• Growing populace clubbed with 4-wheelers with single-drivers
• Car pooling is not so successful due to time-constraints of different people
• Auto’s too are not success here due to their rude & illogical behavior
• Public transport is crowdy & hectic
Idea: To have ‘Ola Stands’ at major Bangalore locations & then ply shared cabs between these.
• There is no time-constraint hindering as Ola cab is available / not available at these stands at run-time. Come & board a cab to specific pre-defined route.
• Car-pooling is not fixed here…Basically the cab & the people change at run-time
• It’s just like a chain of run-time Ola cabs instead of pre-booking concept
• Adds ‘Social’ value to your company
• People will surely join hands in this Ola concept to improve Bangalore traffic. And who will not prefer traveling in a A/C cab instead of Auto or Public transport 🙂
On a fun note – You can probably make ‘Ola’ viral by replacing ‘Taxi’ / ‘Whistle’ shout with a ‘Ola’ shout to stop a Ola cab on the way 🙂 Can be the ‘Advertisement’ idea for this concept 🙂
I know the logistics would need to be worked out – but it is surely worth a try!
Looking forward to your reply.