I have been a frequent user of JustDial ever since the time it was called “Talking Yellow Pages”. This was long before it got re-branded as “JustDial” and entered into the internet play. In fact, I am often found evangelizing this service among my friends Not because its the best “local search” one can ask for, but because it definitely is the pioneer in India. It is a big first step in a category of services which is all set for huge growth and without which it might become difficult for us to imagine our lives few years down the line. However there is no doubt that to maintain their leadership in the long run, they will need to continuously evolve and keep improving their offering. The database edge wont suffice for long. There are a number of gaps still wide open which will allow competitors to get in and pose a challenge.
Reminds me of an incident. During a recent trip to Kolkata, I messed up with my bookings and was left looking for a hotel at 10 in the night. I decided to get into a restaurant and zero down upon a hotel over dinner. As I would usually do, I called up JustDial and asked them for few hotels in the Park Street area. They sent me a list and I started calling.
Me: Hi! Do you have a single a/c room available for next 2 days starting from tonight?
Hotel Guy: Yes Sir. We do have.
Me: Oh gr8, how far is your place from Park Street?
Hotel Guy: Sir, it will be around 250.
(Now some people have this habit of using strange metrics for distances. I thought that this guy means that reaching there will cost me 250 bucks by a taxi)
Me: Oh, so you mean that it will cost me 250 bucks by taxi?
Hotel Guy: No Sir, our hotel is around 250 kms from there.
Hotel Guy: Sir, we are actually a resort located in a neighboring district of Kolkata.
Me: Oh ok! Thanks!
I did eventually ended up getting a hotel but they could have obviously given me a better list of results. Now this is one aspect in which JustDial fails almost always. Query it for a certain area and you can be sure to receive results scattered all over the city ( and at times from even outside the city ) Now I never expected them to be using any spatial indexing (not yet at least) but they can definitly do better than this even with some primitive techniques.
After all, users like me stick. But only till there is something better in sight
Filed under: experience, local search, review | 8 Comments