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Sunday, January 23, 2022

From delivery delay to manufacturing damage

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It has been a bumpy ride for Ola Electric so far. Ola S1 and S1 Pro electric scooters were launched on August 15 2021 on the occasion of the 75th Independence Day. At the launch, Ola Chief Bhavish Aggarwal announced scooter deliveries to begin from October, but the date has been pushed numerous times since then. Also Read – Planning to get Ola Electric scooter? You can’t afford to ignore this before buying

One unreal claim after another has been keeping Ola in the news since the launch announcement. First, the delay in test rides, then several pushbacks of the delivery date, the electric vehicle manufacturer has faced tremendous backlash from customers over the last few months. Also Read – Ola Electric starts laying out Hypercharger network, plans to set up over 4000 charging stations

The October delivery deadline was pushed to November and finally, the first round of deliveries kicked off on December 15. Only a select group of people received the scooters, others will get in the next stage of delivery, as Ola makes another claim, possibly not unreal this time. Also Read – Ola, Uber rides to online food delivery: New GST rule to bring these changes from Jan 1

Some customers who have received the deliveries are also not very happy about the final product. One of the biggest reasons is the unavailability of smart features at the launch. Most of the highlighting features of Ola S1 and S1 Pro will not be available before June 2022.

Some of these features include — digital key, moods and widgets, voice control, seamless navigation, send location to your scooter, charge station suggestion, connect your phone, and stay in touch. Aggarwal had promised to launch the scooters with all these features but that’s not the case in reality. A customer shared his experience about the unavailability of the feature with BGR.in, read here.

Photo shared by Ola S1 Pro buyer from Bengaluru

Besides the unavailability of major features, customers have faced issues related to the delivery process, charging stand delivery and setup, production damage, and much more.

Speaking to BGR.in, owner of Ola S1 Pro Karthik Verma from Vishakhapataman said that his scooter was damaged on arrival. “It all started during the delivery event in Bengaluru, where we had to wait for nearly 5 hours. The event started at 4 PM but due to logistics constraints I could see my vehicle only at 9 pm,” he said.

ola scoooter

Damaged Ola S1 Pro image shared by customer

Verma said that the handle and the side of the LCD panel were damaged, which later the company repaired. “I was surprised to see that a damaged product was being delivered,” Verma said that he gave Ola three options initially: cancel booking entirely and issue a refund, replace the damaged with a new vehicle, or give concession for damages and repair the vehicle. “The company didn’t agree to any and said that they could only repair the damaged part and give me the vehicle,” Verma said. Ola declined to issue a refund / replace the damaged vehicle with a new one as the temporary registration was already done.

Verma highlighted that another customer named Rahul Prasadh from Bengaluru also had certain parts of his scooter damaged, but the company issued a replacement for him. Speaking to BGR.in, Prasadh said that the company has promised to replace his damaged scooter by the first – second week of January.

Ola delivery is happening in two phases – pick up from the delivery spot and home delivery. It appears that Ola is offering a replacement if a damaged product is delivered at home, on picking a damaged product the company is only repairing the parts.

For customers who do not have a plug point outside their home for charging the scooter, Ola is providing an option to purchase a charging stand.

Under the offer, the company is expected to build the charging setup with the charging stand, plug, and wire. However, it appears that Ola hasn’t yet decided on the design of the charging stand.

Ola scooter charging

Ola charging setup image shared by customer

ola s1 pro

Ola charging setup image shared by customer

Customers are told that the charging stand priced at Rs 2500 will be delivered at a later date. No specific delivery timeline has been shared with the customers yet. If you check the image shown above, that’s how the charging setup looks like currently.

One of the customers told us that an Ola executive said that the design of the charging stand hasn’t been finalised yet. It is said that the company has 3-4 designs shortlisted but the final one is yet to be decided.

Now, that’s not a very good strategy that a prominent company like Ola should practice. While we are not sure, possibly, that’s the policy/pattern the company followed for the launch of Ola S1 and S1 Pro, hence the numerous extensions of delivery timelines.

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