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Another Taxi Booking, Another No Show

By 15 October 2009 19

Needing to get Mrs. Avy to the airport early the next morning, I stupidly thought a taxi would be a good idea and booked one before bedtime. Of course, the inevitable happened, no one showed and we drove ourselves instead.

So, RiotACTers, just how does one book a taxi in this town?

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19 Responses to Another Taxi Booking, Another No Show
#1
junkett7:00 pm, 15 Oct 09

Cab Xpress. I’ve spent very little time in the holding queue on the phone and generally straight through (to a human!) Whilst you always feel a bit worried putting your life in the hands of a cabbie, their driving is no better or worse than the competition and I’ve never had them “try for the long route”.
And no, I don’t like Aerial/Canberra Cabs/Whatever company name they want to use. I haven’t used them since three failed attempts to use the “computer voice” and I don’t give a monkey for what they say about it being a reliable booking service now.

#2
krasny7:09 pm, 15 Oct 09

I book ‘em online with Canberra Cabs, and have never had a problem.

#3
Devil_n_Disquiz8:11 pm, 15 Oct 09

ah yes sCab Xpress. Call center in Sydney. They know exactly where you are.

#4
bd848:24 pm, 15 Oct 09

Steal one and leave it in your driveway overnight. It’s about the only guaranteed way in this town.

#5
busgirl8:50 pm, 15 Oct 09

Yes, it is a little disconcerting when that computer voice says my suburb is Koombar…but the cab always seem to turn up…

#6
Anna Key9:01 pm, 15 Oct 09

I do quite a few early morning trips to the airport, never had a problem. I book online the night before

#7
Maze9:32 pm, 15 Oct 09

silver service taxis. $10 more booking fee but they will even check that they have a driver available to do the job before they will take the booking.

I use them for 5am trips to the airport. Always been on time and don’t try to wake up the whole house when they arrive at stupid o’clock.

#8
astrojax10:03 pm, 15 Oct 09

i had a no show with canberra cabs a while back and found out in my complaining that, while you may book a cab an hour, a day, whatever, ahead, they won’t put the job out until just before the time you booked it for – which is an absurd way to run a booking system – especially when they don’t have the courtesy to tell you that – nor does your early booking guarantee you any priority.

cab express – generally better, but in peak times their smaller no. of vehicles mean they don’t always have one for you. but call before bothering with the other mob.

canberra (the city’s, not the company’s) taxi service is generally pretty crap.

#9
misshelly10:28 pm, 15 Oct 09

Maybe the secret is not to book :P I always ring when I’m ready and they are there in 5mins – this is Canberra Cabs.

#10
byt200711:43 pm, 15 Oct 09

I’ve actually been really impressed with Canberra Cabs — I have to trek out to the airport fairly frequently, and even at peak hour (6PM) the booked cabs have always been 5 minutes early. I have to say that the taxi drivers themselves are also polite and non-threatening, which is a huge consideration for a young single female.

I had to fly to Melbourne twice earlier this month, and was absolutely shocked by the rudeness and creepiness of the Melbourne taxi drivers. In four years of catching cabs in Canberra, I haven’t had one bad incident: out of twelve taxi rides in Melbourne, eight were uncomfortable and once I was sexually harassed and actually feared for my life (I was so shaken I did not manage to recall driver’s information, was just extremely thankful to get back to the hotel safely). Native Melbournians told me that the trick is you have to sit in the back of the cab, not the front as I usually do: this trick seemed to help, but still didn’t stop me being abused by one driver for being a “local fare”.

#11
Ian1:12 am, 16 Oct 09

I’ve never had a problem booking with Canberra Cabs online the night before for a taxi first thing in the morning.

#12
la mente torbida9:53 am, 16 Oct 09

I’m with misshelly….phone up, say you’re ready and cab turns up within 5 minutes.

#13
PigDog10:18 am, 16 Oct 09

astrojax said :

while you may book a cab an hour, a day, whatever, ahead, they won’t put the job out until just before the time you booked it for – which is an absurd way to run a booking system – especially when they don’t have the courtesy to tell you that – nor does your early booking guarantee you any priority.

I was surprised to learn this too. All a ‘booking’ means is that they will make a call out to any available taxis at the time you wanted. It doesn’t actually mean that a cab has been booked for that time.

I always go Silver Service for early morning flights. The extra $10 is worth the peace of mind.

#14
chewy1411:33 am, 16 Oct 09

Astrojax and Pigdog are correct.
All a booking means is that 10mins before you want to be picked up, your job is put into the cab system. Your chances of catching a cab are the same as if you rang up at that time.
Cab bookings are worth less than nothing.

#15
bugmenot3:28 pm, 16 Oct 09

when sending off visitors, we usually call twice, as such book two taxis. One of them will show up. I’ve only see the second one turn up once, so far.
I know it’s rude, but better our visitors get their plane than there be a no-show on their part.

#16
Devil_n_Disquiz1:22 pm, 17 Oct 09

#15

The company are generally aware of clowns that do this. As such double bookings from the same residential address are usually noted and one of the jobs is cancelled.

#17
Skyring12:58 pm, 15 Nov 09

If I ever find someone who books two cabs for one trip, they go straight onto my blacklist and I never turn up again for that address.

Make a booking the night before with ANY cab company, and they will only release the job to the fleet a few minutes before the pickup time. They can’t assign a car and driver twenty-four hours in advance. One advantage of booking like this is that the job will show up in the list of pending work for a booking area, and cabs will travel to where they know work is coming up.

Early-morning runs to the airport are usually no trouble, because taxis are scratching around for work. But around rush hour (say seven o’clock to nine in the morning or four to six in the evening) when there is more work than the fleet can handle, and some people are going to miss out.

The exception is Silver Service, where bookings are only accepted up to the capacity of the fleet. Some bookings will have cars and drivers pre-assigned the night before. You get your car – a clean Fairlane or Statesman – with an experienced driver, turning up on time or ahead of time.

I drive Silver Service, and I pride myself on getting the passenger to where they need to be efficiently, safely and pleasantly.

#18
el6:39 pm, 15 Nov 09

Skyring said :

I drive Silver Service, and I pride myself on getting the passenger to where they need to be efficiently, safely and pleasantly.

Except for when you do this, right?

Skyring said :

If I ever find someone who books two cabs for one trip, they go straight onto my blacklist and I never turn up again for that address.

If you’re only going away for a few days it’s cheaper to drive yourself and pay for the (fairly expensive) long stay parking. Much cheaper than the extortionate cab fares in Canberra.

#19
Skyring12:49 pm, 28 Nov 09

If a passenger books two cabs for one job, then they are ensuring that one cabbie is going to waste his time. And it’s not just the cabbie’s time that is being wasted – more importantly, that cab is idle while other passengers are waiting for transport. The cabbie has to spend time driving to the pickup point and waiting a reasonable time for the passenger. Often the cabbie will have to ignore street hails in responding to a radio booking.

At peak times when every cab on the road is needed to move people around, this sort of selfish behaviour cannot be supported. There’s a certain level, easily reached, where the taxi fleet becomes overloaded, delays mount up, passengers waiting for cabs ring again and again – or hail a passing cab and don’t bother to cancel their booking – and cabbies spend time driving to and waiting for passengers who are never going to show up. It’s a vicious circle.

If it’s peak hour and the number of outstanding jobs gets above a certain level, I ignore them. Half the time I’ll waste time and burn gas driving to a destination where the passenger has already gone. Instead I go to a rank where I know passengers will be waiting.

When I do get a passenger, i do my best to get them to their destination in the best possible manner. But I’m not going to spend my time chasing after arseholes. If you are so selfish as to order two cabs for one passenger, then you may expect your fellow humans to respond accordingly. And, believe it or not, but cabbies are human.

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