Over the past few years I’ve have been loyal to City Cabs , as my black cab provider of choice in Edinburgh. I’m not sure why. It’s a loyalty born out of advertising where you get familiar with their number (0131 228 1211) and always tend to use them when ordering a cab. Until today they were the only black cab firm in my mobile phone: not anymore. Today I deleted the number of City Cabs and replaced with 0131 229 2468: Central taxis, who boast that they are Edinburgh’s largest black cab taxi company.
So why have I dumped City Cabs and do I know Central taxis to be any better? Well, the answer to the latter is no; but I’m not expecting Central taxis to give any worse service than City cabs. And let me say: this is absolutely nothing to do with City Cabs drivers. I’ve always found them adequately friendly, and have always done their job of driving me to my destination pretty well.
Tonight was the final straw. I dialled City Cabs and the phone rang and rang and rang. After around a minute no-one had answered. I hung up and re-dialled. The same result. For some reason I persisted, and kept my misguided loyalty. The third attempt yielded no response. At this point I phoned one of my friends and got the number of Central taxis from them. This isn’t an isolated incident. A while back I phoned City Cabs and after the phone rang for a fairly long time a computer answered my call. It said something like “welcome to our automated booking system..blah blah blah…number not recognised”. The phone then started ringing again and I was put through to a human operator. Frustrating and irritating to say the least. Other times the phone has rang and rang, like today, and no-one has answered. Sometimes they have no cabs in my area and I have been told to try again later by the operator (fair enough if they have no cars in my area: at leasts that’s being honest with me. But perhaps I would prefer a cab company that has wider, more distributed, coverage). And another occasion I can remember receiving the text message to say my cab was approaching, only for it not to turn up. It took three calls to get another cab, with the operator admitting she didn’t really know what had happened to my first cab. However the fact of the matter is that when I call a cab firm I expect my call to be answered. City cabs don’t seem able to manage this consistently, so I won’t be calling them again.
Tonight I got through to a very plesant operator at Central taxis within 5 rings; within 3 minutes I was in a black cab. Central gave me, as is standard practice, a few rings to say my cab was approaching. It’s worth noting that there seemed no price difference between Central and City cab firms; but I think this is expected with the City of Edinburgh Council setting the tariffs.
I’m not saying Central taxis are better; I’ll have to see in a couple of months time if they are, or not. But with the choice of black cab firm in Edinburgh, and too many disappointments in the booking system with City cabs I’m willing to at least give them a try!