Tuesday, June 18, 2024

I vowed to avoid Bolt cabs, but here is why I’m willing to try again

Around two weeks ago, I wrote a story narrating all the bad experiences I have had after requesting a cab using the Bolt app. Well, the good people at the company read it, and they have decided to respond. Over the weekend, they sent us a nice message.

Here it is… followed by my brief reaction. 

Co-Op post

“Reference is made to an article that ran on your website on 30th April with the title Why I stopped using Bolt cabs. Bolt would like to make some clarifications on some of the issues raised in the article.

As a business, Bolt is committed to offering affordable, safe, and convenient mobility solutions to all users on its platform. With this commitment, the safety of all our users remains of utmost importance to us and we endeavor to ensure the safety of our riders and drivers by implementing strict safety measures on our platform. We also have an array of safety features that allow our users to report on any safety incidents while on a Bolt trip.


Recently, Bolt discontinued the services of more than 5,000 drivers from its platform due to non-compliance and safety-related matters. Additionally, Bolt dedicated over KES 20 million to bolster its safety features and measures. The company continues to permanently block drivers and riders, reported for any misconduct, from accessing the platform. These operational changes aim to amplify the safety features and trip experience of users on its platform.

Bolt also has in place a new cancellation option in-app, aimed at deterring users on its platform from taking offline trips and paying off the app, so as to further enhance the safety and well-being of riders. Riders are now able to cancel a trip by selecting the option ‘driver asked to pay off-the-app’ under specific circumstances. This feature empowers riders to take immediate action should they encounter situations where the driver asks for payment for a trip outside the app, requests payment exceeding the agreed-upon trip fare, or encourages cancellation of the trip to go offline.

We remain committed to ensuring the safety of all our users and continue to urge all our drivers and riders to reach out to us via our in-app support feature or via [email protected] to share any feedback or concerns they may have.”

Well, all this sounds good. I must admit that I am now willing to try Bolt Cabs again. I appreciate anyone who recognizes their flaws and makes an effort to change.

I’m especially impressed by the feature that allows you to cancel when a driver requests an online trip. Nothing bothers me more than when a driver asks me if “tunaeza enda offline.” It’s crazy because drivers expect customers to have faith in them just like that. Why would anyone ride offline with someone they don’t know? I’ve seen enough movies to know better. 

Still, there should also be incentives for drivers to make them avoid making requests like this. I know that a few drivers do tit out of greed and because they are naturally wired to cheat their way out of every well-functioning system. However, many do it because they feel they aren’t getting enough money from Bolt. It’s the root cause of the problem hence it ought to be addressed.

Compensate drivers well and make the customer experience better. It’s a win-win situation for everyone. 

Additionally, it’s important to note that there have been complaints about the company for years. Whether Bolt has improved its safety features or not is something that can be easily judged through customer experience feedback. The simplest way to see what other customers are saying is by checking what people are posting on X/Twitter and Facebook. If the complaints keep coming, it’ll prove that nothing has been done. 

Personally, I’ll keep requesting Bolt to see if I experience any of the same challenges again.


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