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Old 27th March 2008, 13:18   #1
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Default The Cheating Auto Drivers of Bangalore. Be careful even with digital meters!

Hello all,

It's a known fact that the auto drivers in Bangalore are more of rowdies than drivers. Had a bitter experience today which underlined the fact.

I took an auto from KR Puram station to Outer ring road with family today. I normally avoid the guys at station who come to you offering a ride. Since I was in a hurry, I decided to go with one of them today. He started with 30Rs extra and settled at 10Rs extra. I was around 200mts away from my destination when the meter showed 99Rs. He asked me to note the price and immediately reseted the meter (and it showed 14Rs minimum again). I decided to give him 3Rs extra for the 200mts ride and the original 99Rs (plus 10Rs extra as promised). Since I did not have change I gave him 122Rs and asked for 10Rs balance. He immediately said it is correct. When I asked how, he said I have to pay the minimum of 14Rs again as he reseted the meter and that is the rule. I thought he was joking initially as I never heard of such a rule before. He was about to leave when I stopped him and said I want 10Rs back. He changed his tactic saying I had promised 20Rs extra. I had to change my tone now. He switched back to his initial trick of paying 14Rs min again. I asked him how much I would have to pay if it was a digital meter. He said digital meter will show 100rs plus and there is no need to reset. I asked him why should I pay for he not converting to digital meter. He said I can complain to police if I wish. Luckily (i initialy thought) there were 2 police guys on a bike and I stopped them. They did not understand Hindi or English. The auto guy explained in Kannada and they said he is right. I tried to explain to them why for 200mts I should pay 14Rs again. They got confused and said they are not from traffic and I should go to Adugodi police station (13kms away from where I was at that point). I told the auto guy that we'll go to the station. That moment some samaritans came to the auto wallas help and they soon formed a gang. They started shouting at me and made fun of me. They even used some "words" to provoke me. I decided not to react so that things dont go out of hand. I was sure I will not get any support there. But I sat in the auto demanding two things - either give 10Rs back or go to the station. He offered me 5Rs which I did not accept. He finally gave me 10Rs and pushed my bag out of the auto. I was really controlling myself not to react back.

I called up RTO BDA complex Koramangala to give a complaint. But they said they accept only written complaints. Also the auto belongs to Indiranagar RTO. So I have to go there to place a complaint. I dont know if I will manage to do this. The auto guys know that people will not bother take pains to register complaints and hence they try to cheat us in all ways possible.

Nirmal
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Old 27th March 2008, 13:36   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nirmalts View Post
Hello all,
It's a known fact that the auto drivers in Bangalore are more of rowdies than drivers. Had a bitter experience today which underlined the fact.

He said I can complain to police if I wish. Luckily (i initialy thought) there were 2 police guys on a bike and I stopped them. They did not understand Hindi or English. The auto guy explained in Kannada and they said he is right.
Nirmal, welcome to the world of rowdies who go around under the disguise of auto drivers. You did a good thing trying to prove your point, but you should understand that such a situation can get out of hand, specially when this one auto driver is soon joined by many/any more.

Cops are useless when it comes to dealing with these guys, and i dont remember any instance where a cop has disagreed with these people, my own experience included.

We have many such complaints against autos on the forum as well as in newspapers, and surprisingly the RTO is all the more happy to sanction more autos, rather then rein in and make efficient the existing morons.

God save Bangalore from these %^$%^$*s.

A suitable alternative to this menace is utilising the services of a Cab service, such as SPOT City taxi or the likes. They are punctual, very well-behaved, and also more responsible in driving compared to the ricks. Ofcourse you may have to shell a bit more for the service, but i am sure for such one-off situations where you would need to be ferried, they are perfect.
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Old 27th March 2008, 13:46   #3
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I can completely empathise with you Nirmal.
Sorry for hijacking this thread but i didnt want to start another new one on the auto menace. I taught an auto guy a lesson.
Well, here is a very interesting auto incident I had a couple of days back.


I took an auto from bannergatta road to my house on old madras road.
This auto guy said he needs 20 bucks extra, we settled at 10.
Now this guy had a digital meter and to pass time i just started noticing this meter.
After covering about 5 kms i noticed that the rupee section of the meter was increasing at pre defined intervals of 5 seconds irrespective of the distance covered.

Now the road had a lot of traffic and there was no way that we were traveling at a speed to cover 100 mts every 5 seconds.

By the time I reached the mg road this meter showed a distance covered of almost 16 km and this guy started to reset the meter as it showed rs 99.

I asked the auto guy what was happening and he coolly feigned ignorance saying he didn’t understand hindi (though while leaving from bannergatta road all our conversation was in hindi and pretty fluent as well).

One thing i noticed here was that after this his meter started functioning normally for a while, then again started jumping.

Wanting to get at the bottom of this i decided to carefully watch his movement.
After a couple of kms i noticed that whenever this guy removed his left hand from the handle and moved it to the rod at the center of the handle the meter started jumping and after a similar movement it started behaving normally.

I tried to look but this guy was shielding the entire handle so couldn’t see anything.

I was in two minds if whether to get down from this auto or teach this guy a lesson.
I decided on the latter.
I stay near big bazaar on the OMR and have usually seen a couple of traffic
policemen standing there almost always.

On reaching the big bazaar I asked him to take the road next to it (the meter was at rs 165 by then). As soon as we took this road we saw a traffic guy on his pulsar standing there.

As soon as this auto guy saw him, he turned the auto around saying that this was a one way and he had to go back to the main road.

I kept telling him that it was not but to no avail.

As soon as he stopped I got down from his auto and asked him to move his legs sideways so I could see the bar joining the handle to the wheel.

Sure enough I saw a blue colored switch there. This really blew my fuse but I politely asked him what the button did. He says, “ FM switch saar” and shows me a wire that was supposed to be his antenna. I asked him to switch it on and make me hear some music, before he could react I pressed the switch and presto , the meter starts jumping every 5 seconds.

By the time I could catch his collar; this guy started his auto and zoomed off without even waiting for his money. I took his number and ran to the police man telling him about what just happened.

The police man thanked me and said that these guys were a menace and he would report this incident to the helpdesk.

I wanted to share this info with everyone here so that you know the kind of tricks these guys are upto and give it back to them.

Last edited by sammyboy : 27th March 2008 at 13:50. Reason: formatting
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Old 27th March 2008, 13:53   #4
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Nirmal; i have seen cops helping the auto fellows even when you pick up a pre-paid Auto at the Railway Station or the Airport.

I had a issue once when i was returning from Hubli and took a Pre Paid Auto from the City Railway Station to my residence at HSR layout; before we could proceed the Auto driver started demanding Rs. 60 extra i refused as it was a pre-paid Auto and called a Cop who was around all he said was the rick chap is a poor man why dont you pay him, you can afford to pay. I was surprised as i feel charging 198 for a 17 Kms distance while the Auto runs on gas itself is to high and to top it all they want 60 bucks more; the cab fare to HSR is about 300 k which i felt was more feasiable.

I know the Cops generally take the side of the Auto fellows else who will pay them their daily bribe. so i feel complaining does not really help. Cabs are a better option.
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Old 27th March 2008, 14:07   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sammyboy View Post
I wanted to share this info with everyone here so that you know the kind of tricks these guys are upto and give it back to them.
Thanks Sammy for sharing this info. I always thought digital meters are safe. Not anymore!

Nirmal
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Old 27th March 2008, 14:09   #6
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Pure act of rowdyism buddie.Anyways take it to the station and lodge a written complaint.Cant say what you should have done.
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Old 27th March 2008, 14:11   #7
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Good show Sammyboy, you indeed taught them a lesson. i am really shocked to hear your experience. i never doubted their lack of integrity, but i never thought they could go so high tech!
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Old 27th March 2008, 14:32   #8
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Hey Sammyboy way to go and thanks for the input i guess when ever we ride a auto in future we need our eyes fixed on the meter and the movements of the driver.
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Old 27th March 2008, 14:40   #9
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There was this idiot rickshaw driver who said a prepaid trip from Garuda Mall to Sultanpalya means that he will only drop me at Sultanpalya bus stand and I have to pay extra if I wanted to go anywhere else within the locality !! .. All this happening as we were nearing the destination.

I just raised my voice and shouted at him as to whether he was running a bus service or what to drop us at the bus stand !! My wife also joined in for good measure. Asked him never ever to join the prepaid auto queue again as he obviously doesnt understand the concept of prepaid very well. Need less to say, after that, he dropped us off at the destination without a murmer.
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Old 27th March 2008, 14:40   #10
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Thanks guys. I also used to think that the digital meters could not be tampered with ...but i guess there are a lot of brainy guys out there who would do anything for a fast buck.
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Old 27th March 2008, 14:55   #11
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Sure enough I saw a blue colored switch there. This really blew my fuse but I politely asked him what the button did. He says, “ FM switch saar” and shows me a wire that was supposed to be his antenna. I asked him to switch it on and make me hear some music, before he could react I pressed the switch and presto , the meter starts jumping every 5 seconds.
Daylight Robbery!!!

Really hate to take a Auto in B'lore, most of them are greedy & corrupt!
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Old 27th March 2008, 14:58   #12
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Sammyboy, you were lucky to catch him red-handed.

I know two auto-guys very well, and normally talk to them about such issues, & about the tricks the auto-drivers use. Few things are rampant :

1. Rigging. Meters will jump faster than the auto can fly

2. Digital meters are much more vulnerable to tampering. If it wasnt the blue switch used by Sammy's auto, it is the INDICATOR switch. - Keep an eye on this : One flick of the indicator will cause a one point jump in the meter reading. If he does it even once a kilometer, he's gaining 10% of his fare.

3. No point in complaining to the authorities, esp for rigged meters.
You submit a written complaint. They will send a notice to the auto guy. Auto guy gets his meter fixed & then reports to the police station. You are called & the auto is tested. It naturally comes clean.

What happens next is the sicker part. Since the meter came clean, you're now the villan. He will put a complaint against you for false allegations & loss of business. The court will look at the 'facts' and you're the one with your back to the wall. Please pay up.

4. If the digital meter is hooked up to the indicator switch, the meter is clean all the time - unless the driver uses the indicator switch. So he doesnt even need to get is fixed before he goes to the police station.

5. As we all know, if things dont go that far, you know who the friendly neighborhood cop will support.

6. Another trick I have seen is to ask night fare even at 10:15pm.


Moral of the story:
1. Avoid auto's.
2. If you feel the meter is rigged, change autos. This may be your easiest bet.

It's going to take a lot to change the system. Till then, try avoid the system itself.
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Old 27th March 2008, 15:09   #13
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2. Digital meters are much more vulnerable to tampering. If it wasnt the blue switch used by Sammy's auto, it is the INDICATOR switch. - Keep an eye on this : One flick of the indicator will cause a one point jump in the meter reading. If he does it even once a kilometer, he's gaining 10% of his fare.

3. No point in complaining to the authorities, esp for rigged meters.
You submit a written complaint. They will send a notice to the auto guy. Auto guy gets his meter fixed & then reports to the police station. You are called & the auto is tested. It naturally comes clean.

What happens next is the sicker part. Since the meter came clean, you're now the villan. He will put a complaint against you for false allegations & loss of business. The court will look at the 'facts' and you're the one with your back to the wall. Please pay up.

4. If the digital meter is hooked up to the indicator switch, the meter is clean all the time - unless the driver uses the indicator switch. So he doesnt even need to get is fixed before he goes to the police station.

5. As we all know, if things dont go that far, you know who the friendly neighborhood cop will support.

6. Another trick I have seen is to ask night fare even at 10:15pm.


Moral of the story:
1. Avoid auto's.
2. If you feel the meter is rigged, change autos. This may be your easiest bet.

It's going to take a lot to change the system. Till then, try avoid the system itself.
WOW , the indicator switch, that was enlightening. Good points Condor.
But recently I have had to use autos very frequently as my car was in transit from Delhi and was surprised to see the number of auto guys ready to go according to the meter, compared to 6 months back.
Infact I have even been stopped by auto guys who have asked me why I am walking and not taking the auto. This one guy literally asked me if i was fed up with auto guys and whether that was the reason I was walking instead of taking the auto.

Strange but true. Still there are always some wierdos, and one has to be careful
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Old 27th March 2008, 15:11   #14
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Hi SammyBoy, that was very astute & bold of you And here I was thinking the new-age digital meters were fool-proof ! If you thought autos in Bangalore are unscrupulous & insufferable, you should try the ones in Chennai - I was once asked 200 bucks for a 6.5 kms trip !

It seems like daylight robbery, but the Auto guys too don't seem to be earning too much do they ? Just makes you wonder, after all the haggling with customers, rigged meters, little or no maintenance, etc. - how much could they be taking home at the end of each day ?
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Old 27th March 2008, 15:44   #15
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True. After the Shared auto concept came in Chennai, the normal Auto guys lost most of the pie to the shared auto guys. Moreover, most of the auto guys have the auto under finance and they pay huge portion for that.
So, all these add and they end up being more & more greedy.
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