"It pains us to hear of customers having poor experiences"
The transition from Hailo to MyTaxi should have been easy for us, the consumer. We were promised the same service, but with a different name. One month on from the rebrand, however, I am not impressed.
Hailo launched in Ireland back in 2012. The premise was simple but effective; download the app and order a taxi to your door. The service really took off in Ireland and it was a must-have for those living in big cities around the country. Last year it was announced that Hailo would be no more and that MyTaxi would take its place.
I used Hailo more often than I should. The convenience and reliability of the service never failed to impress me. In the past month, I've had more drivers cancel, prebooked jobs unfulfilled and a more negative experience than I had during my entire time as a Hailo customer.
Rather than simply bitching and moaning about the service, I reached out to MyTaxi to see what, if anything, is going on from their end
How has the initial few weeks gone from MyTaxis’ point of view?
Merging two taxi apps has never been done before and it was one of the largest app migrations that has ever taken place in Europe. It has been a huge undertaking in terms of data transfer, driver and passenger app migration, testing, and of course there are challenges along the way.
We are listening to our customers and working 24/7 to iron issues out as they arise. We have already released several app updates to both the passenger and driver apps and we will continue to do so.
We’re delighted so many Irish passengers have transitioned to our new network, giving them access to e-hailing services in 50 cities across 9 countries which is a fleet of nearly 100,000 drivers. We are confident MyTaxi is going to be successful and ultimately offer more to customers than Hailo did in terms of size of network, app features, ease-of-use and reliability - this will just take a little time.
Many customers, including myself, have had very disappointing experiences with the service. This includes no taxis appearing in very busy areas at peak times on the app, despite taxis with MyTaxi logos being in the area, drivers cancelling jobs last minute, pre-booked jobs not being fulfilled and increased waiting times. What is your feedback on this?
It pains us to hear of customers having poor experiences with the app and particularly when they are not successful in securing a taxi - that’s why we created MyTaxi in the first place.
Increasing the availability of taxis on the system is a huge focus for us - we actually have more drivers on MyTaxi than we had on Hailo before the transition and we have a larger fleet than any of our competitors.
Maintaining availability at peak times is a challenge and we are approaching this issue in an innovative way by rewarding drivers who look after customers during the peak times with more jobs in the quiet times.
We have also recently launched a new Driver Loyalty system called the MyTaxi Rank, which rewards drivers further for commitment to MyTaxi customers.
All dispatch operators struggle at peak times - the reality is that the number of active taxi drivers in Ireland has decreased every year for the past 5 years - even while customer demand increases. Hailo and now MyTaxi makes hailing a taxi so easy that customer demand has increased - which puts more pressure on supply.
Can you confirm that there are different driver rankings and that higher ranked drivers receive ‘first dibs’ on jobs?
The MyTaxi rank is the MyTaxi loyalty programme where drivers are rewarded for their loyalty to MyTaxi customers.
Drivers are rewarded for their loyalty with access to MyTaxi customer pre-bookings. The top performing Gold drivers (those who carry 60+ MyTaxi customers per week) see the pre-bookings first, then Silver drivers (36+ MyTaxicustomers), then Bronze drivers (12+ MyTaxi customers) then the remainder. 1 hour before the pre-book pickup time, all drivers can see the pre-bookings to ensure that all pre-bookings are accepted well in advance of the pickup time.
The loyalty programme has been a huge success in Ireland since we launched it four weeks ago with the number of drivers achieving Gold rank, tripling in just four weeks.
Why was the decision taken to not simply update the Hailo app with new branding, rather than launching a separate new app?
Unfortunately, it was not possible to simply rebrand the Hailo app - to operate across Europe we need to be using one platform in all 10 MyTaxi countries.
We are continually working to improve the MyTaxi experience and deliver a product and service that we believe will surpass people’s expectations very soon. In the future, we will be able to offer more to customers in terms of size of network, app features, ease-of-use and reliability.
Are you aware of the negative feedback drivers have for the new app? I have spoken to at least five drivers about the new app and each one has had very negative feedback to give.
We are always listening and working with our drivers and recognise that for them, the changeover has been particularly challenging. Drivers use our app for 40 hours a week - compared to customers who on average might use us once or twice a week.
Additionally - while Hailo and MyTaxi were running concurrently, drivers had to operate both driver apps side by side. We are updating our driver app on average every two weeks to address any issues that drivers may have.
Unlike many of our competitors, our ethos is to share success with our drivers so if our drivers don’t get work, we don’t get any money. We are glad of the feedback because it’s our job to listen and we’re working hard to improve on the shortcomings identified so we can make sure we remain the best e-hailing service in Ireland.