Manila, Philippines – So we are sick and of hearing operators complaining that Uber, Grab Taxi and other similar services are “colorum“. As a rider, here’s an open letter for you taxi operators who just keep on complaining without doing your job well.
As an everyday commuter, we all share the same struggle of finding the safest, most reliable means of transportation in which we don’t have. The MRT / LRT, PNR, bus, jeepney and taxi are the only means of mass public transportation I know here in our country and yet none of their service improved over the decades.
A guy who of an idea of changing how to improve such service made an application that allows consumers (riders) to request for a trip wherein drivers near the vicinity of the person who requested for a trip will be alerted. The first driver who approves the request will get that customer. And their job, as a driver, is to take that to their destination. Simple, right? So who would thought that this simple up idea made millions or billions around the globe.
When Uber launch in the Philippines, we immediately tried this app service. So we downloaded this Uber Application via Google Play, registered an account then viola! We can now use Uber and request for a ride.
First destination, Makati to Taguig. When riding a regular taxi, our trip usually cost around 90 – 110 pesos so we expected the same price range. But no, our trip cost almost 10 – 20 pesos cheaper than regular taxi cabs! Upon checking our receipt, we only got 82 effing pesos! We were suprised why do taxi cabs price that much. Well of course, we remembered, tampered taxi meters. And hey, aside from that you won’t be able to get a change. Why? They always don’t have coins or their on-hand money is not enough to give you your change.
Another problem we have when riding regular taxi cabs are the arrogant drivers. A lot of people posting their experience with these arrogant drivers are spreading like wild fire on social media. Aside from being arrogant they curse, bad mouth and even hurt passengers who refuse to give them additional payment for the trip! Complaining that the trip was far and they won’t be able to get a passenger on their way back.
So you just landed in the Philippines as a balik-bayan or just visited a country and wanted to hail a taxi cab on the airport to your way home. Fear not! These regular taxi cabs will offer you two to five times the regular amount! I do not know the logic of these drivers but I guess they are thinking that you have dollars with you and you are super rich that you can afford to travel so why not give me your money blahblah..
I remembered my last taxi ride from Manila Ocean Park to SM Mall of Asia. If you happen to pass by there, I’m sure you know the distance from Manila Ocean Park to SM Mall of Asia. If my calculation is right, it is just a 10-15 min car ride and is about 7km. So I hailed a taxi cab and he offered me a fix price of 200 pesos. I said effing no! He even shouted “mura na nga yun eh, ang layo kaya ng SM MoA dito!“. I just leave and said to myself “who is he trying to fool?“. So I hailed for another taxi right behind him and he agreed to take me to my destination, no questions asked. Price? Less than a hundred.
Having this experience with taxi cabs, I never though of riding another taxi cab again. Ever!
Hearing news about taxi operators complaining about Uber and other similar service makes me want to tell them “why not just bother improving your service instead of complaining?” These people keep on complaining yet their services are so poor! My challenge to you is to improve your service first before you complain.
So they are saying that Uber service is an unfair competition to them because they do not have to apply for franchises. I cannot say that it is “unfair”. Let’s put it into this scenario:
So you have a girl you like. So what do you do? You court her, right? So what if a rich, famous, handsome guy comes into the scene? What will you do? You still try to win her right? Even though you are not that rich nor that *ahem* handsome, you will and still have the guts to win her, right? Can you say that it is an unfair competition even though the other guy is rich, famous and handsome? I guess not. It will depend on how you court the girl, on how you show her that you can be trusted, loyal, and faithful to her. That’s how to win a woman’s heart.
So how is it related to the situation above? Easy. Due to the numerous allegations to taxi drivers, why not improve your service by winning back the hearts of the people. By how and by what means? That is up to you to find out. With all the complains of the people, I guess you already know the answer. Hey, you have the money and power right?!
So our last say, thanks to Uber and a guy named Travis Kalanick, who brought this wonderful idea to the Philippines. And to taxi operators who always complains, focus on improving your service and winning the hearts of the people instead of complaining about unfair competition. Think of us people, your customers, as your “girlfriend” that you don’t want to lose. And that’s how customer relationship works.
Image credits: Inquirer (taxi – left) and Uber (Uber Car – right)