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As you may know, I don’t currently own a car – See Why Not To Drive despite having more than adequate funds to purchase one. As such, I am a frequent user of taxis, spending thousands a year. Here are my experiences which will show you the difference between the quality of two taxi companies I use:

*Ring ring*
Me: “Hello? I’d like to get a cab at 2140 Southwest Expy going to Santa Clara University at 7pm”
Yellow Cab: “Hello” *sounds like he’s looking at a list* “Where are you going?”
Me: *slightly annoyed* “Santa Clara University”
Yellow Cab: *apparently talking to someone else, I hear laughing in the background* “Hello? Where are you going?”
Yellow Cab: “Okay, where are you right now?”
Me: “2140 Southwest Expy”
Yellow Cab: “Alright” *click, he hangs up*

7pm rolls around

Me: “Hello? I ordered a cab at 7pm going from Southwest Expy to Santa Clara University but it’s not here yet”
Yellow Cab: “Oh, right. Where are you again?”
Yellow Cab: “Sir, please don’t use that tone of voice with me.”
Me: *seeing as how I need a cab* “Okay, can you please send a cab as soon as possible?”
Yellow Cab: “Okay, we’ll get one out to you as soon as possible”

This kind of makes me wonder why a cab wasn’t already out to me since I requested it like hours ago.

7:30pm rolls around
Me: “Hello? I’m the guy at Southwest Expy still waiting for a cab.”
Yellow Cab: “Hi, where are you going?”
Yellow Cab: “Sorry sir, we’re a little swamped right now. It might be another 20 minutes or so.”

Compare this with the cab company I do use:

*Ring ring*
Rainbow Cab: *recognizing me from the caller id* “Hi Warren, how’s it going?”
Me: “Hey great! Can I get a cab at 7 taking my usual route to Martin Ave? I’m at BEA right now.”
Rainbow Cab: “Sure, we’ll see you at 7!”

At 7pm, I go out and see my cab waiting for me. Additionally, the driver is very friendly and chats with me on the way. When he makes a mistake and takes me a wrong way, he tells me that he’ll subtract some money from the fare (in which case I just tip him extra because I feel like he deserves it). When I go into a store to get some money from the ATM, the cab driver tells me he’ll turn the meter off so I don’t get charged for that time period.

This is an example of having integrity in business. The cab is there when they say it’s there (or they’ll tell me there are no cabs in the areas for the time being). Their cab drivers tries to get me to my destination as cheaply and as fast as possible. You can see how it pays off: Not only do they get a customer doing a few thousand dollars worth of business with them every year, they also get this glowing recommendation on my blog. I can’t possibly see why anyone in the Bay area would want to use Yellow Cab after reading this. You want to get somewhere, you call Rainbow Cab: 408-271-9900.

This integrity makes me feel certain that the cab will be there when I need it, and the sincerity makes it okay even if it is late occasionally. Whereas if I definitely had to go somewhere with yellow cab, I would probably call a few cab companies, and get on the first one that arrives. That would result in a lot of wasted time and lost of business for Yellow Cab, all as a result of them not valuing their customer’s time. Their strategy of forcing customers to use them results in the very thing that they wanted to avoid in the first place – a permanent loss of a good customer.

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One Response to “The Cab Company That Gets My Business”

  1. The Somewhat Incongruent Cabbing Incentives on February 23rd, 2008 4:06 pm

    [...] – competition! In San Jose alone, there are 5-6 different cab companies. Many of them such as Rainbow Cab are run by people with integrity – people who remember my name after months and months, people who [...]