Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Competition Gets Fierce

There were at the time I was cabbing, two companies competing with each other. Sunset Taxi, my company, and Taxi by Hall. Taxi by Hall was owned by the same guy that repairs two way radios, and had our frequency on a portable that somehow fell into the hands of their drivers.

This kind of changed the chemistry, as they used cell phones, knowing that a radio signal can be heard by anyone with the right frequency. I noticed a sharp increase of fares that were no shows, especially if we were running a little behind. After discussing the situation with some of our regulars, we found that shortly after calling us, Taxi by Hall would show up.

Sometimes they would explain that we called them to help out since we were very busy. That never happened. Once, I caught the driver in the act of stealing fares, and took the passenger back.

Finally, I devised a code sheet which named the common stops such as the Resort, Chelseas, Iron Horse,and so forth. On the chart I devised, we had four possible numbers, which changed with a prefix number denoting the column to be used. The drivers had numerical charts, the dispatcher had alphabetical so that they could go right to the proper business name.

From that time on, we never lost another customer through cheating. The moral here, is it's not nice to eavesdrop...

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