The term 'EV fires' has taken on a whole new meaning. Angry about the constant issues he faced with his Ola electric scooter and not receiving help from customer care, a man in Tamil Nadu set the vehicle on fire.
Prithviraj Gopinathan, from Ambur in Tamil Nadu, claimed that his Ola bike would suddenly run out of charge. “This is the fourth time I am complaining,” he wrote in an email to the automaker, a screenshot of which he shared on Twitter April 15. “There was 20% charge, suddenly it got down to 0%,” he wrote, adding some choice words for Ola’s customer care. “Tried to call your stupid, idiotic, useless customer care. No answer,” he said.
OLA PLEASE CHANGE YOUR CUSTOMER CARE TO SOCIAL MEDIA @OlaElectric @bhash @Hero_Electric @atherenergy pic.twitter.com/lZGvBHVbFK
— Prithv Raj (@PrithvR) April 15, 2022
According to a Times of India report, Prithviraj said he had been facing constant issues with the bike since he received delivery in January this year. Things came to a head on Tuesday when he went to the Gudiyatham RTO as the company had paid the registration fees there instead of his hometown of Ambur.
On his way back to Ambur, Prithviraj’s Ola scooter ran out of battery, leaving him stranded in the middle of the road at noon.
Prithviraj said he requested the company to let him leave the bike at the spot so they could pick it up later. Ola, however, said that he had to wait with the scooter till a technician could reach his location at 5pm. This, apparently, was the last straw for Prithviraj, who asked his assistant to buy two litres of petrol and set the bike on fire.
@OlaElectric @bhash @atherenergy @Hero_Electric @elonmusk pic.twitter.com/w5VMHjDCpi— Prithv Raj (@PrithvR) April 26, 2022
“Waited a long time. Frustrated with your service. Now it’s show time. Thank you,” he wrote on Twitter, sharing a picture of the Ola scooter going up in flames.
@OlaElectric @Hero_Electric @atherenergy @bhash awaited for long time frustrated with your idiotic service it’s show time thank u pic.twitter.com/pFNGSEkySw— Prithv Raj (@PrithvR) April 26, 2022
Prithviraj is not the only Ola customer who has complained about the company’s sub-par customer service, though his form of protest is likely the most drastic.
Before this, a man in Maharashtra complained of similar vague and unhelpful responses from Ola customer care as he tied his malfunctioning scooter to a donkey and paraded it across town.
Prithviraj claims that Ola requested him not to give any media interviews and promised to replace his electric scooter. "A few minutes after I shared the video, a service engineer called me and requested me not to give any interviews to the media and promised to replace the e-bike. I bluntly told them my relationship with their company was over as soon as I burnt the bike,” he said.