In a previous post, Do autoricks in B'lore get your gall?, I'd highlighted some problems faced by auto rick users in B'lore "city". So what happens when you actually try to make a complain? My experiences from some months ago:
1. I called up the central RTO with the license plate number of the auto rick which had refused to ply. They advised me to call up the RTO that the license number was registered with and place the compliant there. The license number was a Jayanagar one. I tried calling up the Jayanagar RTO many times but nobody picked up the phone. I gave up.
2. Similar to the last incident, I called up the concerned RTO for another case of overcharging which my wife faced. The RTO people said that I should have got the Police Serial number and the DL number of the driver. The license number is not useful to track the driver. OK, we're wiser. Next time we'll get those details.
3. Once I wanted to take an auto from Madivala-silk board into BTM Layout. No auto was ready to go. Exasperated, I told one auto driver that I would complain to the police. This guy was brazen enough to say that he will take me to the police station himself, so I took him up on his offer and we drove over to the Madivala traffic police station. When I went inside, this guy disappeared; guess he realized that I was serious. Anyway I spoke to some constable there. This time I had all the details. He said that I should put in a written complain at some "main" traffic police station and that he would not be able to help. And that was the end of that.
4. Yet another time I did put in a written complain on one of these little yellow or pink cards and submitted it to one of the "main" traffic police stations at one of the BDA complexes. He dutifully put it along with a bunch of other complaints.
Things went on like this for many months... we never did follow the complaints up. Time is always a problem for working people. But a couple of weeks ago there was an article in The Hindu about this department called Department of Legal Metrology (DLM) which takes up auto-rick complains. See my previous post What do you do if you are short-changed?. This article had a couple of phone numbers that one could call to complain. We were extremely pleased that there was a department that was dedicated to take care of consumer complaints.
Right after this article came out, my wife had another problem with an auto rick. She travels by the same route many times and always uses an electronic meter. The meter was rigged and came up with an amount which was more than 10 rupees the usual. On top of that the auto driver refused to return the change.
My wife had noted the name of the driver, the Police Serial number and the DL number and she called up DLM to make a complaint. But the person who took the call expressed her inability to register the complaint since my wife didn't have the license number of the auto. (Remember, earlier the RTO had said that the license number is not useful.) She talked to a couple of people at DLM and told them that the RTO had asked us to take down the other two details, but DLM said that they would not be able to track down the driver/vehicle with the Police Serial number and the DL number! Exasperated, my wife gave up and mailed Hindu instead and CCed DLM.
In part 3, I'll post about how my wife has taken this issue further.