9-2017 Beware of Uber !

Beware of Uber !

I have experienced fraudulent activities by Uber in Hyderabad, India. I am sure there are many other ways Uber can fleece you. If you know any other ways you have been fleeced, let me know by email drpartha@gmail.com.

1. Uber has no contact centre where a customer can call up, if they have a problem or complaint. The mobile app. used by Uber is defective in many respects and cannot be used for lodging complaints or reporting issues which are not listed in the app. Of course, there is no email address where a customer can report issues. Their website has only a few limited issues which you can report. You may be sufferiing from an issue not listed in their web pages.

2. When you book a cab, the driver may not even reach your pickup point. Instead, he would report a “no show” and charge a cancellation fee. Although the driver has your contact number, he will not even call up to warn you or alert you that he has been waiting and is aborting the wait and he will charge a “no show” fee. There is no way that a customer can prove that the driver did not reach the pick up point. The customer has no option other than paying the “no show” ransom.

3. When you finish your trip and pay the driver by cash, the driver can still make a claim using your cashless payment option (UPI, ewallet, PayTM). The claim will obviously fail for want of authentication and a “payment pending” notice will hang on your app forever until you pay up.

4. Violating all norms of corporate decency or ethics, Uber has no channel for complaint escalation, appeal, or arbitration.

5. You have no scope for posting your suggestions, remarks, or queries to Uber.

There is no way to complain or raise a dispute, since Uber has insulated itslf very cleverly (see point #1 above).

Next time you book an Uber cab, be prepared for some nasty surprises.

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24/2012 Lest we forget

Have we forgotten, how he hoodwinked the whole of India,pulled wool over all our eyes, made us believe he was GOD ?

India would have been a better place without Sathya Sai Baba

Sanal Edamaruku
President
Indian Rationalist Association & Rationalist International

When Sathya Sai Baba died this morning (24 April 2011) at the age of 85 years, he proved once again that miracles and predictions fail. He had predicted at a public gathering at his head quarters in Puttaparthy, in 2000, and repeatedly many times, that he would die at the age of 96 only. And till the last moment, many of his devotees clung to his word and waited for a miracle. May it be an eye opener for the millions of gullible people whom he misguided and deluded.

De mortuis nihil nisi bene, they say, say nothing but good of the dead. But I think Sathya Sai Baba’s case qualifies for an exception. Too great is the damage that he did to India. His devastating influence on reason and scientific temper caused huge setback to the country. At a time, when scientific progress led to great social and economic leaps and scientific awakening started spreading all over India, Sathya Sai Baba launched a “counter revolution” of superstition, supported by irresponsible politicians and other public figures who should have known better. In my judgment, this is his greatest crime. I have succeeded again and again to expose him publicly as a fraud, so did some other rationalists. But due to his political protectors he was never held responsible for his crimes against public reason. Nor was he ever booked for any other crime he was accused of. Numerous cases of alleged sexual abuse and murder are yet to be investigated, not to mention the financial secrets of his empire.

Sathya Sai Baba insisted in all seriousness that he was god, the creator of the universe, and “proved” his divinity with a couple of small “miracles”. As son of a village tantric he was familiar with the hand sleights and tricks of the trade. However, he did not only fascinate poor and uneducated villagers with his fraudulent performances. Over the years, he managed to attract a galaxy of India’s rich and powerful, among them ministers, prime ministers, presidents, chief justices, top industrialists and superstars.

Sathya Sai Baba had a special modus operandi that was the key for his astonishing success and the root of his enormous clout. Many of his high society devotees came to serve their own vested interests. Some came to rub shoulders with the prominent. Many joined the club because it was working as a powerful syndicate spreading its tentacles all over the political system. It was a way to the top jobs and a way to get things done. Others were seeking financial support or wanted to get rid of ill-gotten black money: The empire, it is alleged, was based on money laundering, using foreign devotees and branches. In fact, the huge foreign donations to Sai Baba stood in contrast to the comparatively modest number of active foreign devotees and the sometimes quite weak foreign branches, some of them residing in private homes. That is no great surprise, when one considers that Sai Baba did not speak any other language than Telugu and traveled only once in his whole life abroad – to visit his friend Idi Amin in Uganda.

On his 80th birthday, Sai Baba’s supporters announced that he would turn from a miracle man to a philanthropist. That was, after I had demonstrated his miracles so often in TV shows that many kids in the streets could imitate them. That he since spent a part of the great fortunes, swindled out of the gullible, for social development around his ancestral village, is highlighted now to present him as a saint. But as useful and welcome hospitals, schools and drinking water projects for the poor always may be: this kind of alibi-philanthropy is well known even from mafia-bosses. It cannot be weighed against his crimes and the damage he has done to the Indian society.

In December 2005, I wrote a letter to then President Dr. Abdul Kalam, one of Sai Baba’s ardent supporters, which was never answered. I demanded criminal investigations against Sai Baba. If his social development projects are meant to be indulgence to nullify his crimes, this procedure is unprecedented and unacceptable, I wrote. It is a shame for India that well-founded accusations and numerous reputed witnesses against Sai Baba are ignored without any investigation. Do saffron clothes make an offender untouchable for the law? Do we have to tolerate that political protectionism raises its head so boldly, mocking India’s democracy?

Sathya Sai Baba caused great damage to India. His irresponsible political patrons corrupted the political culture of India. Encouraged by the clout of Sathya sai Baba, a new clan of miracle mongers imitated him. India would have been a better place without Sathya Sai Baba.

(This or other articles from the  Rationalist International Bulletin may be reproduced by journals, blogs or web sites without change or alteration in its content, and with due acknowledgment.)

Rationalist International: rationalistinternational@gmail.com

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Also see :: http://robertpriddy.wordpress.com

19/2012 Astrology, what will it be next ?

Astrology (aka ass-troll-orgy), what will it be next ?

Recently, I witnessed a video recording of a ridiculous episode. It was a discussion between Sanal Edamaruku and the Principal of a school in Delhi. The Principal had sponsored an astrologer for career counselling students based on their horoscope. Ridiculous as it may seem, this real episode is the evidence of the weird influence superstititous beliefs can have on seemingly educated people. This made me wonder what else can happen if such weird and baseless belief is allowed to proliferate. Here is a likely scenario :

Next time a criminal is arrested, the police will not make his mugshots or take his fingerprints. They will ask for his date of birth and place of birth, and summon an astrologer to “compute” the criminal’s horoscope. The horoscope will reveal all the crimes he has committed or is likely to commit, including the place and time of the crime and the details of the victim.

When the forensics team visits the site of a murder, they will not look for evidence or fingerprints. They will locate the horoscope of the victim, and predict all details of how he died, and who killed him.

Sounds great, is’nt it ?

Let us train all our Police officers in astrology, and end all crime forever. All sniffer dogs should be replaced by astrologers. Astrologers can predict what sniffer dogs can never locate by sniffing. By training the Police in black magic and witchcraft, we can make them more effective in fighting crime and terrorism.

At all international airports, immigration/emigration officers will not ask you for your passport. One look at your horoscope, and they will tell you where all you have been and what you have been up to. You wont need visas. Your horoscope should be enough.

Life is going to become so very pleasant and preictable for all of us.

It is a pity that such a useful and remarkable science called astrology is not being put to its full use, in our country.

partha

17/2012 The church strikes back

Yet another story of church fanatism.

Sanal Edamaruku (link)

Sanal Edamaruku joins people like Copernicus and Charles Darwin who were also
harassed and humiliated by the all knowing Christian church. Might is not always right. When will our religious goons understand that ?

partha

10/2012 The farce called Vedic Maths

I am now working on a report about Vedic Mathematics (VM). I came across this article, which decided what approach I should take ::

http://www.openthemagazine.com/article/art-culture/the-fraud-of-vedic-maths

Another article, by a scientist from the Tata Institute of Fundamental Research, further confirmed my opinion on VM .

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bharati_Krishna_Tirtha%27s_Vedic_mathematics

There is more to come on this subject. Watch this space.

4 /2012 HTCY — How they con you

3/2012 How They Con You (HTCY)
The HTCY series of blog posts is a rogues gallery of commonplace fraud, perpetrated by unethical and dishonest and greedy and incompetent vendors and service providers.

The Oxford English Dictionary describes “con” as (noun form) “a confidence trick” The verb form of “con” could mean deceive, swindle etc.

Read these HTCY entries, and be prepared.