November 1, 2012

Excruciating Waiting Times. Thanks Redbus, Varsha Travels

Is it worth the wait? That philosophical question seems a mischief when waiting times get increasingly painful. Right now, more than talking about waiting and managing waiting times, I want to share a small review of my experience with this substandard company Varsha Travels, operating routes from Bangalore to Vijayawada.
  • Booking agent: Redbus
  • Operator: Varsha Travels
  • Ticket # / PNR #: TEBQ62968829 / VTPKG28595922-Blr-Vij-13
  • Destination: Tickets purchased from Bangalore to Nellore @ Rs. 1299/-
  • Pricing: A State transport ticket would not cost beyond Rs. 650/- and other private services maximum priced at – Rs.1000/-. So technically this was a service priced at a premium of an average of 50% higher charge.
  • Punctuality: Dreadful. 105 minutes late (1 hr 45 minutes). Departure 2 hours late. No, no intimation in between while you just keep waiting and the operator is busy on his own trips!
  • Services Undelivered: No bottle of water, which is a norm (even after an excruciating delay in service)
  • Highlight of the Service: The bus won’t drop to you to your destination - Nellore, but will drop you on the highway to the destination – Nellore by pass instead.
Well, after that excruciating wait in KR Puram for this wonderful premium service, there’s just no spirit left but to just take whatever is served and deal with it. I am sure such experiences are certainly felt by many though unspoken. And this is not being given its due attention – well, because all the victims of these experiences might be too busy to share their disappointment, or are used to being treated so as to not realize this injustice. But, I didn’t want to be among those who stand by and keep watching.
Substandard services offered like these actually tantamount to social injustice. And since this is regarding a service for which you pay certain premium and buy, when not delivered in point of sale ‘package’ is a crime. A punishable crime (even if you’re paying a nominal amount and not a premium)!
Believe me, had it been a person with Diabetes / Blood pressure (which is very common in India), waiting for nearly 2 hours on the main road-side without any care will really collapse. Even then I am very less of hope that these service providers will be moved at all.
This is an experience I had by booking on Redbus (a portal which help you make reservations on registered private road transport service providers) after more than a year. The last time I had a similar experience with another private service provider on route from Cchennai to Bangalore, I had decided to not take any private transport services which charge you a premium and end up giving a shoddy service. On the other hand, the state transport services (APSRTC, KSRTC) are exceeding service expectation and way much better. Guess the difference is in just delivering to the expectations set initially at the point of sale. Guess that ain’t that hard really.
Time and again, Indian private road transport systems (in South India) have proven to be insensitive and disappointing by design. Profitable nonetheless, because the user-base is willing to afford even higher prices and drive the demand higher, service-orientation has rested in peace.
Waiting is frustrating, agonizing, annoying, takes toll on your time, mental and physical health and yes - exceptionally expensive as well. ‘Twas the misfortune of one day for me. Continues to be the case for many with many subscribing to other private service operators—when does it end? Now that’s a proverbial question you might want to mull over and try to answer.
Before closing, I did google up this travel operator and I got about 25 similar complaints (links below) about how pathetic this service is. So my recommendation – Varsha Travels – In all sanity, please AVOID IT!
Some complaints lists below:
P.S: Redbus, can’t believe you’ve got such pathetic service provider on your list, this is not the only one though; wonder what your feedback really is useful for! If some responsible official reads this—please remove them from your list for your own reputation sake, if not for some social justice!