Whether you are a student studying out of town or a person trying to attend an out of town wedding, chances are you have used Daewoo Pakistan for your travelling needs. Now before we get into this rant, let me just say that for the longest time, Daewoo has been my go-to choice for travel. It was convenient, reliable and economical. But if the past year has shown us anything, it is that even the best of us can fall from grace. Also, everything in this article is our opinion, and the facts could be inaccurate. But this is how we feel.
Recently, it feels like Daewoo has become a bit of a Monopoly. They now have proper stations in all major cities and buses going out every minute. However, lately it seems like they do not care about anything. The company appears to be in shambles, and their service level has declined significantly.
Here are a few pointers on why we think Daewoo Pakistan needs a drastic change.
Terrible Condition of Buses
Now before you start thinking of the “NEW” buses they have added to some routes, let me point out that they are still using their old buses on most of their routes. For example, the bus to Sadiqabad, Bahawalpur, Khanewal and Sahiwal are the exact buses you saw 10 years ago. Adding insult to the injury, the buses are NOT maintained at all, as their seats are torn, the bus smells like crap and the mechanics are completely off! My brother recently told me of his experience from Bahawalpur to Lahore, where he HEARD the driver saying that the brakes were completely out. As a result, the driver had to drive significantly slower to avoid an accident!
And to add insult to injury, when he went back to Bahwalpur 3 days later, he got the exact same bus, and the exact same driver, and the exact same problems! Oh and did I mention the Bus’s suspensions? It literally jumps violently on the smallest bump.
Not only does this show us how Dangerous it is to travel on Daewoo now, but also their complete disregard for improvements.
Turns out, I am not alone on this. Check these tweets.
2. The food
Call me cheap, but I want my travel company to give me a snack. And Daewoo has failed miserably at this.
Remember when the started, they used to give you these wonderful boxes of fresh snack and chips and all the coke you could drink? Well that’s all gone. This left us with horribly, stale and cheap snacks. But now, forget that too, and look at this!
This new RS 130 charge is an indicator of a bigger problem. People complained about the food quality and how does Daewoo respond? By charging it separately. Does that seem fair? Following this logic, if I complain about my seat being torn, will they charge me a 100 rupees more for a new seat cover too? This is terrible!
3. Seat Booking and Reservation
Try this right now. Call the Daewoo helpine. Press one or two for English or Urdu, and one again for Seat Booking. And see how long you have to wait. I tried this twice in the past week, and on Average, it took me about 3 minutes of waiting time to get connected to a Customer Service Representative.
This, again, indicates a bigger problem. It shows that even after the declining quality of service, Daewoo is not working to solve anything. Customer Service needs to be the first priority of any organization. And Daewoo continues to show us that they are not investing in the right departments.
In addition, the seat reservation process itself is subject to critique. 4 days ago, I booked a ticket from Lahore to Faisalabad. Now the general understanding is that they hold your ticket 15 minutes before departure, after which they give it on Chance. I reached the terminal 30 minutes before departure and it took me 10 minutes to reach the counter because of a sewage flood in the parking lot and the normal rush of people on the counters. But here is where it gets really interesting.
As I reached the counter, I heard the guy booking tickets speaking to someone on the phone. This is what he said. “Don’t Worry, I have 4 tickets on the 9.30 to Fasisalabad. I am here, you will get them.”
I ignored the conversation, as it did not really bother me… until a few minutes later. As I got to the counter, I told the guy I had a reserved ticket. And he tells me that I was late and my seat has been given away. You can only imagine how mad that made me. As I continued to argue with the guy, he stuck by his stance that I was late. I asked him one question. “I want to see when you sold my ticket, show me the timestamp on the ticket sold”, to which the guy said nothing. THAT was where I realized that he was lying, and he was reserving my ticket for someone who had not shown up yet.
Still, the fight was taking too long and there was a queue behind me. So I told him to give me a seat in the next bus, which he did in less than 5 seconds.
My point is that this process of holding tickets for VIPs is not unheard of. I have heard of numerous cases where seats were unbooked, and even buses were cancelled before time! I heard of another case 2 days ago where a bus scheduled for 6.45 was moved to 6.15 at a mere 2 hour notice sent to passengers by text! Now if you think about it, maybe the 6.45 bus did not have enough reservations and they might have had to adjust it in the 6.15 bus, but why does the passenger have to suffer?
4. Is there an alternative?
The answer is No. While services like Faisal Movers have better buses, their stations in Lahore are not easily accessible. Plus, no other company has as much information available online as Daewoo, with ever lesser having a Seat Reservation helpline.
So the bottom line is, we are stuck with Daewoo. Now having said everything, they HAVE added some new buses to routed which are extremely high quality and comfortable. And they have built better stations and the whole Signature restaurant thing in Lahore and what not.
But as a consumer and a common person, I feel like the company does not care about me. So if someone was to ask me if I would recommend Daewoo Pakistan to anyone, I would say ABSOLUTELY not.
What are your thoughts on this story? Have you had a bad experience with Daewoo Pakistan? Share your stories with us!
If you have a complaint for Daewoo, follow this link: https://daewoo.com.pk/Home/contactus