Ola’s being chewn apart by its competition – but not on the roads. After Uber had approached the Delhi High Court accusing the company of making fake bookings on its app to sabotage its business, Jugnoo has followed suit with similar claims of its own.
Jugnoo is a Chandigarh-based auto aggregator that competes directly with Ola, which also has its own auto booking service. It alleges that Ola employees have been creating fake accounts over the last 10 days to book and make cancellations on Jugnoo’s app leading to loss of revenue for the company and also affecting the income of auto-rickshaw drivers.
“Jugnoo accuses Ola of employing unethical practices to sabotage their business and aggravate the drivers who are trying to earn a decent living by plying auto rickshaws,” a statement from the company said.
“About 20,000 cancellations through 800 fake accounts have been reported to occur during this period. These accounts are being used to book a Jugnoo ride and then cancel it after some time, sometimes switching off the phone after booking the ride,” according to the statement, adding that this is keeping the drivers engaged unnecessarily, wasting their time and not letting the genuine customers book their ride. “We witnessed this trend almost 10 days back when all of a sudden there was a surge in booking and the cancellation rate was equally high. We started mapping the areas where the bookings were being made from and invariably pointed at places close to Ola’s office premise.”, said Samar Singla, Co-founder and CEO of Jugnoo.
This is not the first time Jugnoo has laid into Ola either. In December last year, the company had said that Ola of trying steal their employee database through bribes in a hard hitting blog post. But Jugnoo’s latest accusation seems to imply something quite extraordinary – that Ola employees are furiously ordering Jugnoos en masse while sitting in their offices.
But coupled with Uber’s claims yesterday, the accusations could have some merit. There’s no smoke without fire, and such tactics are not unheard of in the cutthroat cab hailing world. Uber itself has been accused by its US competitor, Lyft, for similar reasons.
Ola is yet to respond on the matter.