Got Rs. 900 for the effort…

Posted: October 1, 2006 in Uncategorized

Have you been in a situation on the Mumbai roads, when a BEST bus hustles you up on account of its size and clout, and scrapes your car or worse, bangs it up?? Many of us who drive on the roads of Mumbai, would have experienced this. And usually, except for getting very angry, there is little that we can do about this.

I got into one such scrape off, with a BEST bus few months back. Certainly not my first time. I did not know what I was going to do about it, at that time, except use it in the FIR to claim my insurance money, but I went ahead and took down all the details, including the driver’s name and tag number. The car was not damaged a lot, but I was just very upset because he had bullied his way into my car. I did the police FIR although I was not even sure, if I would claim the insurance money, since it was a minor scratch.

Thereafter, for the heck of it, I looked up, found the BEST website, and located a PRO office email there. I wrote to the person, just to lodge a complaint against the concerned driver, and expecting at best, an apology. And more likely, a “no reponse”. Forgetting it completely, after sending off that email, I was surprised then, to receive a letter from BEST, after a few days.

Typed out (yes, not word processed, but actually typed out on the relic typewriter machines!), the letter did not say much, except that the complaint was noted and being looked into. Subsequently, I got an invitation to take the car to the BEST garage, which is centralised in Mumbai, but luckily, it was close to my home. Here the car was inspected. I got a hint that some kind of claim was being lodged in my favour. This had nothing to do with my own insurance at all. After a few days, there was one more invitation – to visit the depot where the driver was based, for an interactive session with a senior officer there. I dreaded it as I did not know whether I wanted to go all the way, and face the ire of the driver, who might have got some questions asked to him, as a result of my complaint. But intrigued at what was going on, I went ahead and attended that “hearing”.

And then I got a letter that my claim was lodged and I would hear from them later. It took a while thereafter, a fair amount of telephonic follow up, and ultimately, an RTI (“Right to Information”) enquiry, but finally, I got a cheque for Rs. 900 from BEST. For having damaged my car.

Its not the money – in this case, being a small scratch, I guess, I could have not asked for more, in any case – but rather, the realisation that one can actually make a complaint of this nature, directly from the BEST website, that its taken seriously, and that, with some effort, it can actually deliver some compensation to you.

Worth the effort, for me, and certainly to share with everyone.. !

  1. RPM says:

    Wow! Unbelievable, isn’t it? The fact that they called you to their office twice shows an intent to perhaps dismiss the letter for non-availability but the persistence paid off 🙂

    Also, good to see that the BEST website had some information about PR contacts! They are taking some steps to get in touch with their customers.

  2. SPM says:

    See, I did not write to BEST with any kind of expectation, except perhaps to see if the driver will be admonished internally, for his folly. I am not sure if BEST is really obliged to compensate in this manner. After all, one can go to the court of law and sue them, and also one can recover money from one’s own insurance.

    So that there is a compensation possible, itself surprised me. I played along just to see where its leading. The two invites to their works were quite in order. I would have been happier to go through the effort, if it had involved a larger expense for me. They _had_ to inspect the vehicle to assess the damage, and which they could only do at their end. And they _had_ to take my views in detail, about what happened and how it happened, again, at their end. So I guess the visits were in order, and not to wish me away, off the complaint list! I suppose not many people take the effort that I took, but now we all know that there is a possibility to claim thus. And yes, the website gives you connections to concered persons and departments. I was pleasantly surprised!

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