‘50 Days Since, How Long Will Zoomcar Take to Process Refunds?’

Tohid Shaikh, from Mumbai, has been trying to get a refund on the deposit made to Zoomcar since December 2020.

Updated
My Report
4 min read

Video Producer: Saradha Natarajan
Video Editor: Mohd Irshad Alam

Zoomcar, the Indian self-drive car rental company, is facing the wrath of its customers on Twitter regarding the delay in processing refunds on deposits made before a rental. I am one such aggrieved customer.

I used the app on 30 October 2020 to make two bookings – one on 12 November and other on 9 December. To book the car, I had to pay a deposit amount of Rs 2,999 for each booking, in addition to the cost of the trip.

Zoomcar Booking made for 12 November.
Zoomcar Booking made for 12 November.
(Photo Courtesy: Tohid Shaikh)

On 12 November 2020, my booking was accepted and the car was delivered at the door. However, there was no fuel in the vehicle. Although I had already made the payment for the fuel at the time of booking, I paid extra to get the car refuelled. After I completed the trip on 12 November, I was supposed to receive a total amount of Rs 3,525, including the deposit refund and petrol cost from the company.

I called the Zoomcar customer care on 13 November to enquire about the refund. They informed me that during the lockdown, the company had changed its policy from a 7-day refund process to a 30-day refund process. Therefore, my refund will be processed after 30 days.

Unsystematic Delivery

On 2 December 2020, the company sent me text stating that their customer care official had tried to call me but was unable to reach me. I immediately called them back. The person answering call told me that they would not be able to send me a Maruti Suzuki Swift car as mentioned in the booking for 9 December, due to the car’s unavailability. They were to send me an Hyundai i20 car instead.

Zoomcar Booking made for 9 December.
Zoomcar Booking made for 9 December.
(Photo Courtesy: Tohid Shaikh)

On 3 December, a company representative called me to inform that the car cannot be delivered at the given location. Instead, I’d have to pick it up from a mall which was at least 4 kilometre away. When I told them that I won’t be able to do so, the company agreed to send the car to my location.

At 7:55 pm on 8 December, I received a message from Zoomcar, stating that my booking had been cancelled for the next day. The message did not mention why.

Booking cancellation message sent by Zoomcar on 8 December.
Booking cancellation message sent by Zoomcar on 8 December.
(Photo Courtesy: Tohid Shaikh)

I immediately called their customer care and requested them to connect me with a senior official. He said that my booking had been cancelled because my driving license had been declined. They told me that since I have a license from Gujarat, my trip had been cancelled.

Zoomcar had accepted the same driving license as proof for four previous bookings. 

When I told the representative that a driving license is valid all over India, he said it was a new company policy. This angered me as they had already cancelled my booking without prior information. The company then blamed it on a technical glitch in the automation process, and that they had to cancel the booking manually.

When I tried to use a local ID proof to update the booking, the representative said that it was not possible as the deadline for the slot had expired.

Mails Unanswered, Tweets Ignored

This back and forth aside, I also had to send several mails to Zoomcar India regarding my refund, but no one has responded yet.

Mail enquiring about the refund amount sent to Zoomcar.
Mail enquiring about the refund amount sent to Zoomcar.
(Photo Courtesy: Tohid Shaikh)

On 20 December, I tweeted to Zoomcar India, asking them to refund the amount for the booking made on 12 November, as more than 30 days had passed even for the booking made on 9 December.

‘50 Days Since, How Long Will Zoomcar Take to Process Refunds?’
(Photo: Screenshot/Twitter)

I am yet to receive a total refund of Rs 7,516 for both the bookings. Several people responded to my tweet, stating that they have been waiting for months for their refunds – some since the month of February and March 2020.

Zoomcar’s Response to The Quint

The Quint was unable to contact Zoomcar for over four days. In a telephonic conversation, the car rental company refused to respond to questions related to refunds.

(All ‘My Report' branded stories are submitted by citizen journalists to The Quint. Though The Quint inquires into the claims/allegations from all parties before publishing, the report and the views expressed above are the citizen journalist's own. The Quint neither endorses, nor is responsible for the same.)

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