When Monopoly Breeds Complacency – The Case of O.A Travel and Tour

O.A Travel and Tour

Leaving the nation’s capital to pitch camp in the Upper East regional capital, Bolgatanga has brought me very close to the various transport services in the country.

Since my first journey to Bolgatanga in the latter part of 2014, I have always travelled the 15-hour journey in the Executive buses of OA travel and tours. I must say, I got convinced with the reviews I had from their customers and individuals who had used the bus then.
O.A Travel and tour is the most patronized travel agency when it comes to local travels especially to the Northern part of Ghana. O.A buses record high numbers such that while their competitors use PH systems to announce their presence, O.A travel and tour does no such thing.  
Their popularity and credibility is borne out of the fact that their buses are not only comfortable but also the fact that at least a police escort is in there “pretending” to be protecting the over fifty passengers.
However, their reviews have suffered severely, considering the poor customer care services the Travel and Tour organization offers its customers and passengers on board their buses to and from Accra.
Although I have had several instances of poor treatment meted out to me, I have kept quiet about it and had expected things to be done well but the trend keeps repeating itself while other fouls keep recurring.
People board vehicles not only because of the distance but also for their convenience. However, last year, I experienced the highest height of inconvenience when I virtually sat in the ‘rain’ while on board an O.A bus headed for Bolgatanga.
Although the bus was an ‘Executive’ which should have afforded me comfortability, it rather made my long journey more tiring that, I cursed my stars for paying such a huge amount and having to suffer for that.  I have several examples myself and other passengers have had to suffer in the hands of the now ‘most trusted travel and tour’ organization for Local travels in Ghana.
The height of it was what happened this Saturday, which has triggered this write-up. I, in the company of my senior colleague in the office had to send her younger brother to the station because he was travelling to Kumasi that afternoon. Upon arrival to the lorry station, I noticed that there was confusion in one of the buses with the driver’s mate and some passengers exchanging words leading to a near brawl.
What happened? Apparently, these passengers were individuals who had travelled from Accra-Bolga and were expected to be sent to Paga.
However, the bus they travelled in had developed a fault and instead of them been told to join another bus to continue their journey, these passengers were left sitting in their buses close to thirty minutes without a word from the driver’s mate. As they sat in frustrated, a concerned passenger came out to express their frustration and that was when they were told that the bus had developed a fault and they had to join another bus.
The passenger not happy about what happened did not mince words in expressing his frustration. But the mate who was at fault for leaving them in the bus for minutes spoke harshly to the passengers using all manner of derogatory words on them.
Passengers been hurt by this indicated that the State Transport Services regardless of the State backing they had, failed woefully and died out quickly and that if the services of the transport company continues to deteriorate, it will be the next in line.
“If STC even a state transport system was able to collapse, it will be very easy for O.A, a private business to collapse. You continue to treat us like rubbish and your cup will be full in some time to come. We will advise ourselves and you will not like the outcome,” a peeved passenger said.
I was saddened when an elderly driver after chiding the driver’s mate made it public in the face of passengers and people present at the station that “these passengers should go away. Ghanaian passengers are too known. I chided the mate because people are here and we need to save our face but they should just go away with their troubles”.
In Ghana, customer satisfaction is taken into consideration only when the company starts to operate and is willing to get into the hearts of the people. When that is achieved, customers are treated with disdain and utter disregard.
It gets worse when they become the most trusted, like OA have become. They treat customers like rag with the thought that regardless of what we do, they will certainly resort to us forgetting of the fact that as the day goes by, options will certainly avail itself.
Regardless of a business’s success, respect for clients should always be paramount and that is mostly missing in Ghanaian businesses.
By: www.tourafiq.com

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