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In praise of Canberra Cabs!

By johnboy - 4 August 2010 15

taxi

For many years this website has lead the pitchfork wielding angry mob incensed by the booking system for Canberra Cabs.

But something funny happened on Sunday night when I needed a taxi.

The voice recognition system actually worked!

And then, I could choose to pay 75c to get a text when the taxi was approaching.

A text arrived, I stepped out the door, and the taxi came around the corner!

It took a long time to do something pretty basic, but finally the system seems to work.

Now don’t get me started about the expense of the fare…

What’s Your opinion?


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15 Responses to
In praise of Canberra Cabs!
LSWCHP 8:32 pm 18 May 11

When I pronounce my street name to what is possibly the worlds worst voice recognition system, it fails to recognise my street, and says something like “Are you at this street?”, which is another street in my suburb.

Then when I reply “No”, it thinks for a while and then says “Are you at this street?”, and presents me with THE SAME F*CKING STREET NAME!!!! And so it goes, around and around, reducing me to a frenzied, gibbering wreck. I have actually shouted obscenities and abuse at that machine.

As someone who has worked with and developed software systems for over 20 years, this offends me to the core. Why doesn’t it recognise the knockback on the first suggestion, and try the next closest match, rather than just presenting the same option again and again?

Ostentashus 6:45 pm 18 May 11

The other night i ordered a cab and waited 35 minutes (after ringing a second time to find out how far away it was) the taxi finally arrived and i was told it was my fault? that my driveway was difficult to access off a busy road (got an indicator and brake lights?) This kind of comment from a taxi driver in canberra is too frequent and not good enough.
Cab drivers complain about the government giving away too many plates taking work from them and making their life harder yet still long waits for cabs, when a business identifies there are problems with a certain aspect of their procedures they fix them or they go out of business but when you dont have any competition there isnt much of a need to improve.
Cab companies are exactly what they are a business there to make money period but the drivers are employees and are there to do a job, if you dont like it dont drive cabs.
Frankly if you work a job you do what is required of you, if an elderly person is standing at the rank when you pull up get out of your seat and help them or if thats too difficult try saying “Hi how are you today” when someone gets into your car, not hard at all.
The booking system is a pain yes but you always have the option of asking for an agent, remember back in the old days (2 years ago) when you never had the option of automated bookings or internet bookings, the bigger problem is the attitude of the cab company employees.

dvaey 11:23 am 05 Aug 10

Davo111 said :

I’d say the sms system should be free, they spend a lot of time waiting for people to come out of their houses instead of waiting outside in the cold. A winning trade-off imho

But, if theyre only charging $2.50 for the radio call-out and $4.50 for the flagfall, how are they ever going to make a profit to survive, if theyre sending SMS’s to every customer at 5 cents a pop? They charge $49/hr for ‘waiting time’, but if you dont get an SMS and they have to wait 5min, that costs the driver money, and doesnt affect the passenger at all.

Wont someone think of the poor Indian cabbie, and his starving wife and kids at home?

Rawhide Kid No 2 10:05 am 05 Aug 10

justin heywood said :

eyeLikeCarrots said :

A business absolutely devoted to service will have only one worry about profits. They will be embarrassingly large.” Henry Ford

Yeah right. The same guy who said ‘you can have any colour you like as long as it’s black’

For every aphorism there is an equal and opposite aphorism.

Sounds very McDonald-ish to me.

st 9:57 am 05 Aug 10

The online booking system works every time for me. It’s great.

Davo111 3:16 am 05 Aug 10

I’d say the sms system should be free, they spend a lot of time waiting for people to come out of their houses instead of waiting outside in the cold. A winning trade-off imho

AndyC 8:59 pm 04 Aug 10

The automated system seems not so bad now. But it would be nice to get a cab that didn’t smell horrible, or need a good clean just once in a while..

trix 5:36 pm 04 Aug 10

@georgesgenitals – I often wanted to catch a cab from McKay St in Turner (pronounced as Skidbladnir explains), only to find cabbies had been driving aimlessly around Macleay St and cancelled my bookings as “no shows”.

It was only a fluke when I rang up to rant at the cab company after I had been standing on the street for 15 minutes before the booking time with no taxi to be seen, when the cabbie had literally just called back to base to complain about the “no show” and the dispatcher put two and two together.

Oh, and the automated system doesn’t know how to pronounce the streetname correctly, even if it does actually get the right one.

JC 4:21 pm 04 Aug 10

Lucky guy, he has two streets in Canberra named after him, the other being in Dunlop, which has inventors as one of the 3 or so road name themes.

justin heywood 4:11 pm 04 Aug 10

eyeLikeCarrots said :

A business absolutely devoted to service will have only one worry about profits. They will be embarrassingly large.” Henry Ford

Yeah right. The same guy who said ‘you can have any colour you like as long as it’s black’

For every aphorism there is an equal and opposite aphorism.

Skidbladnir 2:44 pm 04 Aug 10

McKay Street in Turner is name after Hugh Victor McKay (inventor of the sunshine harvester), which is ananglicised version of the Irish-Scottish surname (MacAoidh).
Which is a ‘Mack-Eye’.

eyeLikeCarrots 2:04 pm 04 Aug 10

A business absolutely devoted to service will have only one worry about profits. They will be embarrassingly large.

Henry Ford

georgesgenitals 1:51 pm 04 Aug 10

trix said :

Huh, it doesn’t understand when I say “no”. I last tried 3 weeks ago, and have always had problems with it. Ok, my accent is halfway between Aussie and Kiwi with a bit of pom, but NO is NO (unless you’re Tony Abbot). Maybe I should be using the vernacular “Nah”.

It also doesn’t understand the difference between McKay (when pronounced properly OR when pronounced to rhyme with “bay”) and Macleay Streets in Turner.

You wanted to catch a cab to McKay?

trix 1:34 pm 04 Aug 10

Huh, it doesn’t understand when I say “no”. I last tried 3 weeks ago, and have always had problems with it. Ok, my accent is halfway between Aussie and Kiwi with a bit of pom, but NO is NO (unless you’re Tony Abbot). Maybe I should be using the vernacular “Nah”.

It also doesn’t understand the difference between McKay (when pronounced properly OR when pronounced to rhyme with “bay”) and Macleay Streets in Turner.

georgesgenitals 1:33 pm 04 Aug 10

So a company provided a service in line with their claims.

How very sad that this is unusual.

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