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Bad experience with savaari.com

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This is not a first-time poster signing up to complain about a company.

This is a regular poster complaining about a company - click on my screen name for my profile if you don't recognize me.

I had intended to post this as part of my ongoing trip report (http://www.fodors.com/community/asia/thursdaysds-south-asian-sojourn.cfm ), but it occurred to me that someone considering using savaari.com would be more likely to find this information if I posted it separately.

I arranged with savaari.com for a three day car hire - Hyderabad to Hospet via Bijapur and Badami. I would stay in Hospet and the driver would return to Hyderabad. This is the email I sent from Hospet on Nov 30, to which I have received no reply as of Dec 4.

"I expected you to provide me with a safe and reliable driver. The man
you sent, Basha (not Pasha) certainly seemed to be a skilled driver,
but in other respects he fell far short of any reasonable expectations.

First, he arrived over an hour late - if he had been five more minutes
late I would have canceled the trip, which might have been a good
thing. Later he also kept me waiting 20 minutes when he did not stay
with the car.

Second, he said that he had never been to Bijapur. Either you sent me
a driver with insufficient experience, which would be a problem, or he
was lying, which would also be a problem. Either way, this was hardly
what any customer would expect to hear.

Third, and most seriously, was the route. When asked which route I
wanted to take to Bijapur, I said "the shortest". He spent some time
on the phone and we set off down the NH7. Since I had expected to take
the NH9, I didn't immediately realize we were on the wrong road
heading too far south. When I did, and asked why we were not going
west, he U-turned and took an exit, saying we were going via Raichur.
At this point (Mahababnagar) I got out my guide book and looked at the
map, and pointed out very clearly that that was a very long way round,
after which he left me in the car for 10-15 minutes while he went to
"get directions". We then spent eight hours traveling across country
(although not via Raichur). Having been caught on the scam, he had no
choice but to go cross-country. I was tempted to cancel the trip at
that point, but having already started I decided to pretend that
everything was fine and continue.

Since he later said that he would return to Hyderabad from Hospet via
Bijapur and Gulbarga, it seems quite clear that he did in fact know
how to get to Bijapur, and that he was trying to cheat on the distance
for extra money. It was only after he realized that there was no time
penalty in the contract that he really seemed keen to get to Bijapur.
He did something similar on the way to Badami, when we went via
Bagalkot instead of turning off earlier.

Fourth, I expected him to know places where it would be safe for me to
eat, and where there were good toilet facilities. He did not.

Fifth, he asked me where he was supposed to sleep, although it was
quite clear in the contract that I was not responsible for his
accommodation, and I told him so.

I expect this kind of cheating behavior from rickshaw drivers who are
using the meter, and always make it clear to them that I am carrying a
map. I did not expect such behavior from a driver hired on a multi-day
contract.

I suppose I should not be surprised that you employ a scam artist as a
driver, since you are scam artists yourselves. You say that the rate
for extra kilometers is 10.75 INR/km, but then you double the
distance, EVEN THOUGH the extra kms have no effect on the actual
distance the driver will cover from Hospet to Hyderabad, making the
actual rate 21.50 INR/km. No wonder Basha wanted to go the long way.

I will not use your services again.

I will not recommend you to other travelers.

I will warn other travelers not to do business with you."

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