Careem has become a popular cab service in Pakistan and its also found reasons always be in the news. Many of them aren’t very good reasons, with stuff like harassment passengers have suffered at the hands of shady drivers or crises with drivers protesting against the company’s various policies.
Careem came under fire earlier today after one of its promotional tweets regarding its discount code went viral for all the wrong reasons
After-ن promo for our customers! 😉
-Valid on all car types
-Valid for Pakistan pic.twitter.com/qLS3AOJdfR
— Careem Pakistan (@CareemPAK) July 3, 2018
People assumed this to be a dig at Pakistan Muslim League – Nawaz (PML- N)’s party and therefore came the assumption that the cab service was supporting the rival Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI).
Soon enough there were angry customers tweeting at Careem voicing their discontent with the company’s alleged political affiliation
Shame on you.. the management must apologize from the fan of PML and people of Pakistan .. What nonsense..!!
— ~زاهدعبدالشاهد~ (@zahidabdushahid) July 8, 2018
It is stupid to say that when you are using the urdu letter ن and placing it right before the english word "after"
This is clear cut political targeting.
You will lose a great deal of your customers.
— SPARTACUS (@thinkffb) July 9, 2018
Switching to Uber. Bye Careem, never again.
— Sadia Akram (@sadiaak1999) July 3, 2018
And then the hashtags began
With variations of #BoycottCareemPAK, #BoycottCareemPakistan and #BoycottCareem being used, people started sharing their angst over what they thought was the company dissing on one of the biggest political parties in the upcoming election
You dumb motherfuckers, in a politically polarized country like Pakistan it's really daft to come up with such a promo slogan. Till now I was your customer but I am deleting your app and would instead use the services of your competitor.#BoycottCareemPakistan https://t.co/WyvgbsYLRe
— #Karachiite (@adnan73_siddiqi) July 8, 2018
— رائوامتیازعلی (@ImtiazAliRao) July 8, 2018
People also started deleting the app and sharing their experience on Twitter
#BoycottCareemPakistan i hv deleted ur app
— Lady In Red (@ladyiinrred) July 8, 2018
#BoycottCareemPakistan I've just uninstalled @careem app from my phone so that the managers at @CareemPAK can spare sometime to learn corporate ethics. And dear @Careem don't ask 'Mujhe kiyun uninstalla.@Uber rocks pic.twitter.com/XCr41tfh7f
— Mansoor Ahmed (@anaulhaq) July 8, 2018
— Asif Siddiqui (@asesidd) July 8, 2018
The anger reached such a crescendo that the company had to issue a statement clarifying their intention behind the tweet
The company said that their aim was to get people to the polling stations and that they had no specific political affiliation.
We sincerely apologise for hurting your sentiments. Careem is politically neutral and our election taglines covered all popular political slogans. Our singular aim is to get everyone to the polling stations. #CareemForDemocracy pic.twitter.com/VoDMhbLM8q
— Careem Pakistan (@CareemPAK) July 9, 2018
But people were still not having any of it
It isn't your job to get people to the polling station, people can manage this themselves without you giving them the awareness. You are a business entity that has to follow certain ethics and corporate codes and not run any sort of political campaign.
— #Karachiite (@adnan73_siddiqi) July 9, 2018
Itnay he neutral ho tu afterن ki jaga 'promo ko izzat do' ka slogan daal detay
— Ahsan Masood Tanoli (@AhsanTanoli) July 9, 2018
Oh well, guess you can’t please everyone. This was a bit of a guffaw for the company, for sure.
This Karachi Girl’s Dangerous Experience With Careem Is A Warning Sign For All Women Traveling Alone