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Which is better Ola or Uber?

Discussion in 'Transportation' started by PQP525, Oct 11, 2016.

  1. PQP525

    PQP525 New Member

    I will now need to get a taxi every weekend to somewhere and I would like to know about the two taxi companies which I have been looking into.

    The two taxi companies I am considering choosing from are Ola and Uber, but I would like to know which is better Ola or Uber?
    I think mostly what matters is the taxi company arrives on time, as I have had some bad experiences with taxi companies when they have just cancelled the booking without any notice.

  2. vkar

    vkar Member

    I personally prefer Ola. Can't say one is much better or worse than the other and both have some questionable practices. But I find Ola is usually cheaper than Uber and didn't have much bad experience with them so far. Also, I like their app better.

  3. Johnnie

    Johnnie New Member

    I've read some reviews which slam Ola for billing errors. Appears that there are a number of unsatisfied customers who are quite angry that they get overcharged. I wouldn't say Uber is better though. Considering they are just getting into the Indian taxi market it will take a while before they offer great services.

    Though Ola's still got some improvements to make, I'd recommend it anyway.
  4. calicer1996

    calicer1996 New Member

    Ola sucks big time. My friends complain about it all the time. They do not care for their customers. Their hiring policy is very lenient. Uber, on the other hand, is my go to option. Very professional and always reliable.
  5. briannagodess

    briannagodess Well-Known Member

    Hello there, welcome to the forum!

    Ah, Ola versus Uber, this seems like a never-ending battle. Just like Jon Snow versus Ramsay Bolton or Flipkart versus Amazon and we're on the edge of our seats waiting for what will happen. As commuters, we have always liked trying out new services and comparing them with the usual we have already tried. With Ola and Uber, there have been merits and downsides to both companies and their services. But which really dominates the market and provides the best services to commuters?

    It's important to highlight the differences between these two to better understand their companies. Here's a brief overview of the two companies:

    Ola Versus Uber - A Comparison

    Date Founded (Founder)2010 (Bhavish Aggarwal)2009 but started in India in 2013 (Travis Cordell Kalanick)
    Availability in India102 cities29 cities
    Number of Vehicles in India450,000250,000
    Types of VehiclesCars and auto rickshawsCars
    Payment ModesOla wallet, credit/debit card and cashPaytm wallet, credit/debit card and cash
    ServicesTransport, food delivery and groceryTransport
    Ola is a startup company in India that was founded by Bhavish Aggarwal in 2010. Instead of forming a global market, the company is only available in India but quite extensively. As of latest statistics, Ola is available in over 102 cities in the country, like Bangalore, Mumbai, Chennai, Delhi, Pune and many more. The company has over 450,000 vehicles, not just of cars but also including auto rickshaws. Passengers can avail of their services through their application, available in both android and apple devices. The company also has other services aside from personal transport, like food delivery and grocery delivery. Lastly, modes of payment can either be cash or Ola wallet.

    On the other hand, we have Uber, a global company that started in 2009 in America. Its founder is Travis Cordell Kalanick and it has spread over 66 countries already. In India though, the company has only managed to spread around 29 cities. As of latest estimates, Uber has about 250,000 registered vehicles in the different cities in the country. You can choose between their different types of cars, the smaller, the lower the price. Payment modes can be through their Paytm wallet, debit/credit card or cash. Passengers can also download their application, available both in apple and android devices.

    Now, we go to the exciting part, determining which of these two companies work better, in terms of services to customers. Let's get started:

    1. User Friendliness of Application
    • Ola - When you open the Ola application, the first thing that you would see is a landing page with a map. From here, you can plot your pick-up point and it would also show you the nearest cabs to you. At the bottom of the page, you can search for what type of vehicle you'd like (Sedan, Mini, SUV or Auto). In addition, you can also choose whether you'd like to pre-book a vehicle for later use. On the upper corner of the application, you'd see your ride history and other information like promotions and notifications.
    • Uber - When you open the Uber application, it also shows the same first page with a map. You can also plot your pick-up point in here and it also shows the nearest cabs to you. The bottom of the page is where you can choose which vehicle you'd like (Uber Go, Uber X, Uber Black and Uber SUV). However, there is no pre-booking option in the application although you can choose vehicle with WiFi if you'd like. On the upper corner, it has the same features as Ola. After booking a vehicle, the application would show you the picture, name and number of the driver that is going to pick you up.
    Note - Recently, Ola has started an offline mode of booking for vehicles. With this mode of booking, you can just send a text message to the closest cab to you and you can communicate with the driver through text or call. This type of booking is only available in four cities as of now (Mumbai, Chennai, Bangalore and Delhi). Uber has also started a new website where you can book vehicles online through your laptop or computer. You only need to register your mobile number for this booking to work. This booking mode is only available in select cities (Cochin, Guwahati, Jodhpur and Nagpur).

    2. Booking Experience
    • Ola - Although the application of Ola is user-friendly, there had been instances wherein their pre-booking feature didn't work for many customers. For example, you went ahead and pre-booked a vehicle a couple of hours before your scheduled departure, only to find out 30 minutes before the trip that Ola doesn't have any vehicle for you. There has been cases too that the driver did show up but a few minutes later than expected. There were more cases of bad experiences with the pre-booking feature than cases of good experiences. On the other hand, if you use the real time booking feature of the application, you're likely to encounter less issues as compared to the pre-booking feature. Since Ola is widely spread around the country, you can easily book a vehicle. You can also easily book a vehicle even if it's off-peak hours with Ola.
    • Uber - Like mentioned above, Uber doesn't have a pre-booking feature. If you do use the real time booking feature of the application, it is very accurate and you can easily book a vehicle. There have been cases of drivers from Uber arriving later than the expected times but they're quite few. The only downside is that Uber is not widely available in the country so if ever you're in more remote areas, booking a vehicle might be more difficult for you. In major cities though, Uber is quite easy to book and even on off-peak hours, you can book a vehicle.
    3. Drivers
    • Ola - The drivers in Ola are a mixture of good and bad. There are drivers that constantly cancel bookings, especially if they know that you're going to be paying through Ola wallet or if they don't know the pick-up location. On the other hand, there are also good drivers, arriving before the scheduled time and taking the smoothest route through GPS. But then again, there are drivers that take the longest route just so they can get more money out of you. It really depends on your luck what kind of driver you get but somehow, the bad drivers seem to be more in number than the good ones.
    • Uber - Being a global company, Uber might have learned a thing or two about hiring professionals. It is rare to hear of bad drivers with Uber although there are still some. But the verdict is that, most of the Uber drivers are on time, careful with driving and abide by the rules. Unfortunately, in 2015, an Uber driver in Delhi has been accused of rape and was found guilty. This is probably one of the few bad cases that has been reported about Uber. This has lead to Uber being banned in the city for a while after the crime.
    Note - In Kolkata, there was also case of two Ola cab drivers who raped a young girl. However, the girl did not book the cab and she was kidnapped by the men. Still, it's worth it to mention as these men were registered under Ola. Their accounts have already been suspended though.

    4. Fares
    • Ola - So Ola has three different types of cabs/vehicles, Sedan, Mini or SUV. Out of these three, the cheapest is the Mini at Rs. 10 per kilometres and at Rs. 80 for the first 4 kilometres. The Sedan is at Rs. 13 per kilometre and at Rs. 80 for the first 4 kilometres. The SUV is at Rs. 15 per kilometre and at Rs. 80 for the first 4 kilometres. For the auto rickshaw, the fare is at Rs. 13 per kilometres and at Rs. 25 for the first 1.9 kilometres. Fares are different though if you're coming from the airport at Rs. 499 for the first 25 kilometres (Mini at Rs. 13 per kilometre, Sedan at Rs. 16 per kilometre and SUV at Rs. 17 per kilometre).
    • Uber - So Uber has four types of vehicles, namely: Uber Go, Uber X, Uber Black and Uber SUV. Uber Go is the cheapest at Rs. 7 per kilometre and at Rs. 45 for the first 4 kilometres. Uber X is at Rs. 9 per kilometre and at Rs. 80 for the first 4 kilometres. Uber Black is at Rs. 14 per kilometre and at Rs. 150 for the first 4 kilometres. Lastly, Uber SUV is at Rs. 14 per kilometre and at Rs. 150 for the first 4 kilometres.
    Surge pricing - Whenever the demand for vehicles are high, the fares in vehicles for both companies increase. So whenever there is a surge in customers, expect to pay at least three percent higher or even higher than this. In this case, both companies are quite equal.

    5. Customer Service
    • Ola - The customer service of Ola has quite bad reputation. Majority of the complaints filed through their customer service were replied at a later time. If filing a complaint, expect a response within 12 to 24 hours from the personnel. It's harder to plead your case with them as well, especially if it's about refunding or complaining about a driver. If quite unlucky, you won't even be able to hear a reply from them at all. So just a heads up about the customer service of Ola and hopefully, they do something about it.
    • Uber - What Ola lacks in customer service, Uber quite makes up for it. User's customer service is fast and very customer-oriented. Whatever complaints you might have, they listen to you and reply within an instant. Uber doesn't have their own call centre but they do have an email support service. Once you place a complaint, they respond within a few minutes or so. If ever you need a refund, they look at your case and if you are on the right side, they would immediately refund it to your account. If you placed a complaint about their driver, they would respond to you as well dutifully.
    6. Payment Options
    • Ola - As mentioned in the table above, Ola has three modes of payment: Ola wallet, debit/credit card and cash. The debit/credit card mode of payment is just a recent feature that was added to the application. On the other hand, Ola wallet is a good prepaid option as you only need to load your account with money. However, the recharge rate of Ola wallet is considerably higher than Uber at Rs. 500 for the former. If ever you need to pay in cash, Ola also has that option.
    • Uber - Just like Ola, Uber has three payment options: Paytm, debit/credit card and cash. For a while, Uber didn't have a cash mode of payment but has recently added it into some cities in India. Paytm has a lower recharge rate at Rs. 200, when you compare it to Ola. Paytm is preferred by most customers though as it is more user-friendly and can be used for other payments aside from Uber.
    The verdict:

    Final Comparison of Ola and Uber

    ApplicationEasy to use but crashes at timesEasy to use
    Booking ExperienceEasy to book during off-peak hours and during real time bookings but pre-booking feature is a messEasy booking process
    AvailabilityWidely available throughout the countryOnly available in some cities
    DriversMixture of good and bad drivers, with bad drivers higher in numberMixture of good and bad drivers, with good drivers higher in number
    Customer ServiceLacks proper training and doesn't listen well to customer complaintsVery good customer service and listens well to customer complaints, with instantaneous response almost all the time
    Payment OptionsVariety of options (Ola wallet reported having some glitches at times and cannot be used for other payments or sites)Variety of options (Paytm rated higher than Ola wallet)
    As you can see, both companies have their up sides and down sides. Considering these points, Uber wins in most categories but the wide availability of Ola is hard to compete with. If Ola can only focus on their customer services and driver trainings, then they would really have it all. Of course, lowering their rates can also help in attracting more customers.

    I hope this helps!:)
  6. djtravels

    djtravels Member

    Well, I don't have a personal preference. But, I have felt that Ola cabbies undergo less vetting, which is not a good thing. In terms of service, both services provide the same kind of a deal. I have never really felt a difference amongst the two.