Jan 272012
We decided to go and welcome 2012 in Coorg in Karnataka. I wrote about the same in my earlier posts. This post is less about the trip and more about how we almost got cheated by the cab driver.
Since we live in Hyderabad and Coorg is much closer to Bangalore, I requested a dear friend Vibhor to help me with cab booking, so that the cab can take us to Coorg and stay with us for the rest of trip and drop us back to the airport after 4 days.
Vibhor was kind enough to book a cab for us through the regular vendor his company uses and informed the cab company that I will pay directly to the driver as it was a personal visit.
Here are the details of the deals
·         Minimum guarantee of 250 KM per day.
·         200 Rs per day allowance for the driver.
·         6 Rs per km for Non AC cab and 7 Rs per km for an AC cab.
I agreed to the same and Vibhor circulated the contact details for the cab driver to me.
The driver came to pick up at   the station and we boarded the cab, I  noted down the mileage on the car for billing purpose, and the driver was too  happy to give the reading to me.
The cab was nice and brand new and  the driver knew a good dose of Hindi and English, the only hitch was that he had never been to Coorg before so he was struggling with directions. So I switched on the GPS on my android phone and started navigating.
The driver wanted 2000 Rs as advance which I happily paid to him. So for the next 4 days we paid for his food, stay in same guest house ( over and above the daily allowance as a good will gesture) as we were staying and he also became very friendly with our kids. The weather was fairly cold and as we were in hilly terrain the driver was not using AC in the car, and we were fine with the same.
We went to sightseeing everyday and my android phone with GPS came handy in giving directions in even the remotest part of Coorg. I kept on saving the directions for each day, so that when I am blogging about them, they will help with my memory. On last day the driver was to drop us to Bangalore airport. But due to heavy traffic we got stuck at many places and for some strange reason the driver was getting the diesel filled every 100 or so kilometre in the car. I asked him to get the tank full and even offered to pay for the same and adjust the same in the final bill but he refused with a smile continued the journey.
Any ways long story short, we reached Bangalore airport just in time to catch our flight and I asked driver for the bill so that I could pay him cash. But he refused and said that since we are getting late for our flight he will send the bill to Vibhor and we can send the money to Vibhor. I was ok with same and paid him some tip and rushed towards the check in counter of the airline. (this airline was to deplane a passenger some days later for being rude to their staff)
On reaching Hyderabad I called Vibhor and informed  him that he will be receiving the bill and we I will send the money to him or to the cab company, I also informed him that we used about 800 km in 4 days and that the driver did not used AC in the car.  Below are the details:
Distance in KM
Day 1
Bangalore to Coorg
Day 2
Pollibetta to Talacavery and back
Day 3
Pollibetta to Nagarhole
Day 4
Pollibetta to Bangalore Via Mysore
Vibhor checked with the cab company next day and got back to me that the driver has claimed that the car has been used for 1250 KM and I had signed the duty slip with comments that I was very pleased with his driving, and we used AC throughout the journey. I was very surprised and requested Vibhor to send the bill to me. I was horrified to see that the driver has signed my name and the mileage actually said 1250 KM. Since I did not wanted to make a big deal out of it I asked Vibhor that I will pay the amount but the sign on the duty slip are not mine.
Poor Vibhor he was feeling bad about the whole situation and decided to talk to the cab company owner.  I decided to check in my phone the mileage done in the car as the GPS is accurate till upto 4 meters, and you can see the results above in the table.
Next day I got a call from Vibhor that the fraud of driver has been caught he has been fired. I felt sorry for the poor guy as he lost his job over a few hundred rupees that he was trying to make by claiming false mileage. I transferred the money as per the actual usage to Vibhor and learnt an important lesson that one need to sign duty slip of cab every single day. I was also glad that I used GPS for navigation that kept records of where we were going.
I owe Vibhor a big one and lunch is on me next time he is in Hyderabad.

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