Bhavish Aggarwal appears in a spot of bother as the downers continue in the rollout of Ola Electric’s first scooters, the Ola S1 and S1 Pro. The latest bummer: the second purchase window will open late December, instead of November 1, owing to semiconductor shortages. Even the first purchase window was opened on September 15 after a week’s delay, followed by a much-publicised tweeted apology from Aggarwal: “Unfortunately we have had many technical difficulties in making our website for purchases live today... the website was just not upto our expectations on quality...”. Bottom line: four months since 100,000-plus pre-bookings happened on July 15, not one scooter has reached a consumer’s home so far. And now, the postponement of the second purchase window and delivery dates has only accelerated criticism of the company on social media. Ola Electric has sought to deflect that with an announcement of test rides in metros such as Delhi-NCR, Kolkata, Ahmedabad, and since expanded to 1,000 cities. But that seems to have merely served as a red flag to a bull, with complaints only rising. An analyst who didn’t want to be identified said that there’s a big question mark on the services of a company that takes a week to fix its website. And, just saying, Aggarwal had also promised to launch Ola’s first electric car by 2023. That sounds further away now than it actually might be. And the e-scooter? Late December. Consumers are keeping fingers crossed.
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