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Friday, 7 July 2017

(The Star) EzCab previews e-hailing feature with SOS button for passenger safety

KUALA LUMPUR: In a sign that passenger safety is increasingly being taken seriously, e-hailing operator EzCab has taken the lead by being the first operator here to offer a panic button feature on its app.

Announcing this yesterday, EzCab executive director Aleeshah Abdullah (pic) said her company was proud to be the first to roll out what is also known as the SOS button, which is backed by a 24-hour call centre that it operates.

“In the case of an emergency, passengers are immediately presented with three options,” she said.

Hitting the panic button unveils three speed-dial options: to 999 (the Malaysian Emergency Response Service), or the preset emergency contact number, or the EzCab customer service centre.

Aleeshah said the EzCab app has been downloaded by more than 10,000 users, while the majority of its 2,000 odd drivers serve the Klang Valley.

“EzCab provides users with a convenient way to book a ride and enjoy the services of professional and experienced taxi drivers.

Backed by a round-the-clock customer support centre, EzCab has developed a loyal following among users who demand reliability and security,” she added at the press preview of the app here yesterday.

The panic button feature became a hot talking point following a string of incidents involving passengers who use e-hailing over the past few months.

In a recent case, a Vietnamese woman claimed that she was molested by an Uber driver.

The next day, the woman’s husband and nine people allegedly beat up the driver.

In response, the Land Public Transport Commission (SPAD) told e-hailing operators to install a panic button in their app, a feature EzCab said was already incorporated into its app well ahead of the SPAD requirement.

EzCab claims that its distinctiveness lies in its team of customer support officers that monitor all of its drivers and passengers in real-time.

“All they need to do is press the button, and we will respond accordingly,” said Aleeshah, who added that all EzCab drivers have been screened internally as well as by SPAD.

“They have to go through two layers of screening. We have our own ways to ensure that our drivers are professional and crime-free,” she said.

Aleeshah added that only drivers with the PSV (Public Service Vehicle) licence were allowed to provide services under the company.

“They can opt for a fixed fare or metered fare booking, and we strive to be equitable and fair to both taxi drivers and passengers,” she said.