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Old 27th April 2016, 18:51   #1036
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Default Re: Zoom Car: Self Drive Rentals in India

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Old 27th April 2016, 23:15   #1037
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Default Re: Zoom Car: Self Drive Rentals in India

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Originally Posted by mohammedismail View Post
Here is Another one, pretty scary !
It's bad, very bad... but nobody, in any circumstances, should travel in a car when they know the brakes to be faulty to this extent.
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Old 28th April 2016, 01:05   #1038
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At the risk of going off topic, I think this is a classic example of what happens when you grow too fast. The founders need to take a step back and figure out what is going wrong, before they completely lose whatever goodwill they still have.

Mods: Pl delete this post if it's not relevant
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Old 28th April 2016, 11:32   #1039
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Default Re: Zoom Car: Self Drive Rentals in India

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Originally Posted by Chetan_Rao View Post
I must be stupid to think I shouldn't own a car if I only need it sparingly, relying on service providers instead and do my bit to reduce the traffic mess. My one year experiment without a car is done, I'll pop over to the Test Drive & Reviews section to contemplate which contraption I'll add to our choked roads.
Thanks for NOTHING Zoomcar.
They somehow seem to believe it is only those who cannot afford a car goes to self rentals, and there could be no other reason why one would not own a car, when he can.
If they really believe that the self rental models that works pretty well in the US could also work here, then they must focus on customer care, and their car care! Think about this: Is it so difficult to own a car in the US, than here? But still people now and then take the self rental cars!
I seriously feel for you, for assuming that you can live without a car (when you are not ready to rely on the public transport / cabs of our country and time is important for you).
For holidays, we cannot always plan the number of members if the family is large. So, you can at least own one car depending on the number of frequent travellers. I can see that you want to reduce traffic / pollution on the road by cutting back on your own car ownership, but it really does not work, as long as the governments show apathy on the mounting traffic situation.
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Old 28th April 2016, 11:57   #1040
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Default Re: Zoom Car: Self Drive Rentals in India

Insider news regarding Zoomcar is that they are short of funds. They haven't found new investors willing to sink in more money and hence are in cash conserve mode trying to reduce their burn rate. Pretty much all new age startups are struggling of late due to lack of investor cash flowing in.

Unfortunately the side effect of this is that they are neither able to expand their fleet by buying new cars nor are they maintaining and servicing their existing fleet with scant regard for their customer. This is exactly the reason why they came up with the partner offer where folks can buy cars and lease it to zoom. The situation might not have been so bad for the customer if the market weren't an almost monopoly like it is.

If the situation doesn't improve, Zoomcar might soon go under.

Last edited by reignofchaos : 28th April 2016 at 11:59.
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Old 28th April 2016, 14:16   #1041
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Default Re: Zoom Car: Self Drive Rentals in India

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Originally Posted by reignofchaos View Post
Insider news regarding Zoomcar is that they are short of funds. They haven't found new investors willing to sink in more money and hence are in cash conserve mode trying to reduce their burn rate. Pretty much all new age startups are struggling of late due to lack of investor cash flowing in.

If the situation doesn't improve, Zoomcar might soon go under.
That's true, apart from this one of the founder has quit the company and moved back to US. Things are not looking good for the company.

Even the associate program is not getting the response as expected.
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Old 28th April 2016, 14:47   #1042
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Default Re: Zoom Car: Self Drive Rentals in India

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Originally Posted by reignofchaos View Post
Insider news regarding Zoomcar is that they are short of funds. They haven't found new investors willing to sink in more money and hence are in cash conserve mode trying to reduce their burn rate. Pretty much all new age startups are struggling of late due to lack of investor cash flowing in.

If the situation doesn't improve, Zoomcar might soon go under.
Their problem is that they have too many locations. Look at Zipdrive or similar. They have half or even one third the locations for cities twice as big as Bangalore. If they spent on 4-5 premium basement spaces instead for 30 mud patches, it would have better control.

The other problem - the technology to access Zoom cars is flawed and never works. Everybody has some SMS problem and the local site person has to sort access

If Zoom enforced strict fines based on car condition and enforced it. They should use tehnology to know when to pull a car out from the front line for a service.

A good idea - half baked
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Old 28th April 2016, 15:09   #1043
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Default Re: Zoom Car: Self Drive Rentals in India

Quote:
Originally Posted by reignofchaos View Post
Insider news regarding Zoomcar is that they are short of funds. They haven't found new investors willing to sink in more money and hence are in cash conserve mode trying to reduce their burn rate. Pretty much all new age startups are struggling of late due to lack of investor cash flowing in.

Unfortunately the side effect of this is that they are neither able to expand their fleet by buying new cars nor are they maintaining and servicing their existing fleet with scant regard for their customer. This is exactly the reason why they came up with the partner offer where folks can buy cars and lease it to zoom. The situation might not have been so bad for the customer if the market weren't an almost monopoly like it is.

If the situation doesn't improve, Zoomcar might soon go under.
Startups are trendy. Startups are supposed to save the world and be the future of the economy. Like most trendy management stuff, it is, of course, cow excrement.

I don't have any current statistics, but I'm willing to bet that the following, which I heard long ago, is still as true as it was then:

--- Very many new businesses will not survive even one year.
--- Of those that do, the vast majority will not survive ten years.

The reasons for this seem obscure to today's MBA mis-educated youngsters, but, leaving aside all the stuff (lots) that seemed like a good idea but wasn't, failures that I have seen and believe to be common involve bad management and bad administration. In my experience:

--- companies led by techies who have no marketing sense
--- companies led by sales people who have no technical knowledge
--- companies led by either that have no basic administrative skills.

Only one of my employers could have been called a startup. A whole year of unpaid bills for electricity, etc, was found in the departed founder's desk draw. Yes: he was a salesman (and a good one too) but absolutely unqualified to run a company.

Despite my scathing criticism, I understand that people's dreams are being broken in these failed enterprises. It is sad... but what do they expect? To live on other people's money (venture capital) forever?

I don't know about USA, but in UK, car rental is expensive. Cars that I rented there were never more than a year old, and quite often brand new. Part of the model was the resale value of young but well-maintained end-of-rental-life vehicle.

The idea of investing in Zoomcars, from what I read here recently, seems farcical. The idea of buying a car for Zoomcar rental seems ridiculous: far from having a good value a year later, it looks like its value will be sacrificed in weeks.

The rest of the world seems to be able to make self-drive rental work. What's wrong with these guys?

(/rant )
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Old 28th April 2016, 18:24   #1044
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Default Re: Zoom Car: Self Drive Rentals in India

Quote:
Originally Posted by Thad E Ginathom View Post

The rest of the world seems to be able to make self-drive rental work. What's wrong with these guys?

(/rant )
Sir,

Believe me, in India too "self drive car rentals" are doing good business. I rent regularly from the Indian operations of some of the better known "international players" and also from some "Indian" ones in Mumbai, Bangalore, Pune & Delhi etc.

My experience with all of them have been at par with rentals from "western world" if not better.

As you said - I never had any faith in this business model. I never rented from Zoom due to two reasons;
  1. Prefer to do rental with an entity which has a proper physical presence as in a "place of business" and not go to some third party place, to take the car.
  2. When I am renting a car I am doing it for my needs and hence would like to maintain my privacy as well. This doesn't happen with a Zoom car - as you are advertising to the whole world that you are "renting a car" (why should I be a moving advertisement for some one else's benefit).
May be I am very old fashioned but this is my view.

Best Regards & Drive Safe

Ram

Last edited by r_nairtvm : 28th April 2016 at 18:26.
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Old 2nd May 2016, 15:39   #1045
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Default Re: Zoom Car: Self Drive Rentals in India

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Originally Posted by Chetan_Rao View Post
........ my Zoomcar bubble finally burst today.
.........
Received a follow-up call from Zoomcar last Wednesday, from one Mr. Jayant who's apparently in-charge of their customer care operations. He claimed multiple people at Zoomcar noticed the posts on this thread and they felt compelled to respond. +1 to T-BHP

He was apologetic about the whole experience, and we had a chat about the specific instance and the self-drive rental business in general. He claimed action had been taken with the field agents involved with my case, but no actual details were provided.

He offered me a free ride to make up for my bad experience, but I declined on principle because it would take away my right to review their service impartially, and also wanted to uphold T-BHP's 'no favors from automotive businesses' policy. Told him I'll gladly pay for my usage (if any), and all they can expect in return is an honest review. He gave me his number and asked me to let him know whenever I make a booking next.

While I appreciate the follow-up, I made it clear a customer is won/lost at the initial contact point(s), such calls/offers are just a damage limitation exercise and won't do much good in the long run.

I'm still disinclined to try them again. All the goodwill notwithstanding, there's nothing they can do about the quality of their cars or their touch-point staff in their current state. Even if they can conjure up a good car just to keep me humored, that's not a fair representation of their overall customer experience.

P.S. I informed him I'll be updating this thread about the conversation.

P.P.S. I tried out Revv (review here (Revv self-drive car rentals with doorstep delivery)), and it was a pretty satisfactory experience. If Revv can provide consistent service, it's bye-bye Zoomcar for me.

Last edited by Chetan_Rao : 2nd May 2016 at 15:51. Reason: Grammar and typos
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Old 3rd May 2016, 00:07   #1046
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Received a notification from Zoomcar app saying that there'll be no security deposits, not sure till when. The car rental charges in Chennai seem to be cheaper than in Bangalore. Not sure why & how! Maybe the fuel prices & the taxes make the difference.
Also noticed that Nano's rental has gone up by a huge margin! Last May when I was in Bangalore, I was looking to book a Nano for about 400 bucks a day! And today it was around 1400 bucks a day! :O
Any idea when & how this hike happened?
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Old 3rd May 2016, 10:32   #1047
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Default Re: Zoom Car: Self Drive Rentals in India

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Originally Posted by aswin ajith View Post
Hi guys,
Does anybody here have experience renting a zoom car from Delhi/NCR?....Would appreciate advice from someone with first hand experience.
Coincidentally, I had booked a ZoomCar on the very day you posted your query and unfortunately don't have a good review to post.

Was in Delhi to visit my parents and had planned to go for a trip to Agra for a couple of days. Had booked an XUV since there were 4+1 of us, including my daughter in her car seat.


Booking Experience - The initial booking process itself was smooth and I used a coupon code to get 20% off with my Axis Bank account. Booking was confirmed and all was hunky dory.
Since, I had made the booking almost a month in advance, I would keep checking the status now and then. One fine day I see that the coupon discount had been reversed and the amount was now showing as outstanding. Called up customer care, who blankly said that the coupon was valid only if payment was done through Credit Card / Debit Card and not online Net Banking - which it wasn't and I told them that I could send them a screen grab of the coupon.
Customer care was rude and at one point went to the extent of saying that the person handling my case had left for the day and that I should call back the next day.
After 3 days and several phone calls I was totally frustrated and posted a scathing review on play store. Got a call from ZoomCars within an hour or two and the discount was honored.

Pick Up - Went to pick up the car and the app performed smoothly, giving accurate directions to the pick up point. Parking was small, crowded and dusty - but that I ignored. There was only one single SR and who was not uniformed and was wearing casual clothes and without any indication that he was working for ZoomCars.
SR himself polite, helpful and understanding.
Car was scratched all over and the ACC knob had come off. Interiors smelled of vomit and / or urine and I showed the SR what looked liked vomit on the back side rear mesh of the front passenger seat. He sprayed a air freshner but suffice to say I would have to get the car cleaned thoroughly before I took my family out. The car otherwise looked / visually fairly clean.
Completed the checklist and pointed out that car was dirty. Decided to get it cleaned at a 3M or another car service center before I started for Agra.
Got home, had breakfast and started the car again for taking to the cleaners but the ACC Blower would not start. Tries a lot but nothing worked.

Return - High tailed it back to the pick up point and no one was there. This was at about 1045 and the Delhi sun was coming up! Waited for 10 mins and called up the Customer Care. They noted my grievance and said they will arrange a call back in 15mins. 15mins later – called up again. Told the whole story again and Customer Care said they will arrange for a call back in 15 mins. 15 mins later – called up again. Told the whole story all over again from scratch. This time they did tell that the local SR was out to make a delivery and would be there soon. 45mins had already elapsed and it was getting hot – both me and the weather. Finally the SR arrived almost an hour after I had been waiting and inspected the car but the ACC did not start. Several phone calls followed – during which they tried to arrange for an alternate car. This lasted another 30-45mins and it was close to noon now and I lost it! Called up the Customer Care and blasted them. The phone rep transferred my call to the “Escalation Dept” and was answered by a lady. She was at least aware of the what was wrong. Was again put on hold to check for another car – but she came back saying that no car was available. I said fine – cancel my booking and let me be on my way, to which the lady offered a gem of an advice. She said that I should get the ACC blower repaired – on my time and that they would refund the repair bill to me upon submission of bills. I was angry but wanted to laugh at the absurdity of the offer. I told them to just cancel my booking – deduct the hire charges from 0700 to 1200 hours and just close it – which they finally did.

Refund – This was very smooth. The refund was processed quickly and I kept getting regular SMS updates on cancellation and refund process. I received the refund amount within a few days and ZoomCars did refund the entire amount without any deductions, which I appreciate.

However, needless to say – I am never going to rely on a ZoomCar EVER again.

Last edited by PGNarain : 3rd May 2016 at 10:36.
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Old 3rd May 2016, 12:43   #1048
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Default Re: Zoom Car: Self Drive Rentals in India

Add one more to the list of not so pleasant experiences with Zoomcar.

Booking:

Was very easy – did the booking through the app almost 3 weeks before the date and paid the amount + advance through net banking. Got some discount suing a coupon I got with Sodexho and opted for a Drop and Pickup Service.

On the D Day

I was very apprehensive about renting the car after reading the last couple of pages, but since I had booked the car already, was waiting with crossed fingers to see what will happen to my booking. I had opted for the Drop and Pickup service and there was no communication even past the drop time, called up the customer care. The guy who attended promised me a call back in 15 minutes, which never happened. Called the customer care again after 15 minutes and had to literally yell at that guy to get the issue across. Same time, I tweeted about the mess up and someone from Zoomcar called me up. This executive (I forgot her name) was much better, and promised me that I will get the car in next 15 minutes. Soon after that, I got a call from the driver (at around 9.25) saying he is next to Punjabi Grill hotel in Koramangala and asked me about the drop point. I told him the drop location and he was like whaaaat? He said the drop location is not updated and he can't find where to drop the car. After this I called up the customer care again, explained all the details again and they promised that I will get the car in 15 to 20 minutes, and said they will arrange a call from the driver and they also will call back in 15 minutes.
There was no call from the customer care or from the driver, so I called him up again at 10.15 am (after waiting for 45 minutes) and he told me that he is stuck at Madiwala traffic. Now I knew escalating this will not have any help and all I could do was to wait patiently. At about 10.40, the guy reached my place - late by 1hr 40 minutes. Asked the guy about the delay and he told me that he got the car from Zoom car only at 9.15.

I started inspecting the car - thankfully, all 4 tyres were fine and had enough grip, but the spare was dangerously low on air. The interior was dirty, with left over waste covers and food wrappers and was covered in dirt and grime. The panel which cover the jack and tool kit was loose and laying on the floor, there was no water in windshield wash reservoir, the coolant level was low (the driver asked me to put some water and drive), no accessories as listed in the checklist other than aux cable - the issue list goes on and on, but since all of these were not critical and I was already almost 2 hour behind the schedule (and since there is no option to wait for an alternate vehicle), I started off the journey. But before I started, I took the photos and tweeted them tagging the Zoomcar account.

Apparently, the drop and pickup is outsourced to driverskart so there is no point in asking the driver about any defects about the car.

The Drive

The car was squeaking even on smooth paved roads - the sound was coming from rear. Almost 150 km into the journey, the engine check light started blinking intermittently. After a brief consultation with BHPian Man of Steel, I decided to continue the journey since there was no service station nearby and I was not in a position to break the journey to get the car checked.

At about 3 PM, I got a call from Zoom car again, apologizing for the inconvenience. In the course of the call, the lady told me "Sir, the best we can do is to reimburse you 15% of the cost" to which I replied "The best you can do is not to reimburse 15%, but to make sure that the vehicle is in a good condition".

The engine check light vanished for good after some time, rest of the journey was uneventful.

Return

I came back 4 hours before the drop off time, and called up the customer care to tell that they can pick up the car any time they want – but they were not able to arrange an earlier pick up (Their excuse - there is no incentive if you drop off early, sir). To their credit, the driver promptly came at the promised time to pick up the car and after going through the checklist, found some scratches which are not marked in the checklist by the driver who dropped off the car. Luckily, I had photos to prove that it was there prior to my trip, so was saved from any more hassle.

Verdict

Other than the squeaking issue, the car was mechanically good – clutch was ok, gear shifts were ok, no rattling panels – all essentials were in place, but the feel good factor was not there.

The customer care is next to useless – they never call you back, and you have to explain your story every time you call back. I don’t think they log the call details and even if you ask, there is no guarantee that you will get the same person who have handled your call previously. They first promised me that they will refund the unused hours, later it changed to 15% of whole trip fare, but frankly I would have been happier if the car was delivered on time, in good condition.

All in all, not something I would like to go through any more.

--Anoop

Last edited by theexperthand : 3rd May 2016 at 12:45.
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Old 3rd May 2016, 13:54   #1049
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Default Re: Zoom Car: Self Drive Rentals in India

It seems that Zoom cars have a front-line of support that says only "we will call you back in 15 minutes."

What use is that? None at all. Can't these people apply some common sense to their procedures?
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Old 3rd May 2016, 14:23   #1050
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Default Re: Zoom Car: Self Drive Rentals in India

Quote:
Originally Posted by mohammedismail View Post
Here is Another one, pretty scary !
Quote:
Originally Posted by ShaileshHinge View Post
-

I would have just left the car there itself and hired a taxi go back home. He is courageous to drive it without brakes.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Thad E Ginathom View Post
It's bad, very bad... but nobody, in any circumstances, should travel in a car when they know the brakes to be faulty to this extent.
Just curious: Would it not be better to have called Maruti on-road assistance in this case, rather than driving with bad/no brakes?
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