08.03.2023 • Krystian Rolka
5 mistakes I see app taxi drivers making
As a taxi driver, I know that the best way to get from point A to point B is to order a taxi via an app. Going to the doctor? Heading to a party? Spouse has the car? The taxi arrives within minutes and I can be on my way without a care in the world. Unfortunately, it’s not always smooth sailing. I will highlight five problems that I encounter as a customer.
The driver does not consider themselves a taxi driver
As a rule, my colleagues are very easy to talk to. I don’t like to mention that I’m also an app taxi driver because then the conversation tends to get out of hand as we start teaching each other and nothing constructive ever comes out of it. When I strike up a conversation with the driver, I usually inquire how their workday is going, what’s new in the traffic or the city streets that day and so on. I politely try to steer the conversation to find out if they are a full-time taxi driver, which platforms they drive for, what’s their day job if this is just a side gig, etc. I really enjoy the freedom that comes with gig work and I am curious about the people who share the same lifestyle.
Unfortunately, I am sometimes unpleasantly surprised by how little some drivers know about their own occupation and the taxi business in general. The law says that YOU are a taxi driver. Bolt, Uber also state this in their terms. So how can you not consider yourself a taxi driver?
To customers, your respect for your job says more about you than your car brand or driving style.
The driver talks too much
I order a taxi via an app to get to my destination quickly. Oftentimes it wouldn’t even be possible to take care of things without an affordable ride. But sometimes I’m tired, engrossed in something on my phone, or otherwise lost in my thoughts, like the time I headed to the hospital in the wee hours of the morning to visit my mom. The last thing I want is to make small talk with the taxi driver – I don’t care about their political views or yesterday’s biggest headlines.
My own experience shows that 80% of the workweek rides tend to be laconic. Some days are harder than others and talkative customers can wear you out on a Friday night. Each customer is unique and requires a different level of attention.
As a passenger, I often simply want to be delivered to my destination quickly and safely. You, the taxi driver, can help me with it. Just greet me with a hello, drive me there in silence, and bid me good-bye – this is often all I need to tip you for a nice lift and good service.
The driver is visibly tired at the wheel
We all have good days and bad days. Some months, when I plan to spend weekends with my family, I drive 40 hours in 4 days. It’s very difficult to enjoy work if you don’t get a good night’s sleep.
However, the customer shouldn’t suffer for it. The driver should never yawn throughout the ride or blink frantically to stay awake at a traffic light in the early hours of the morning. The driver MUST take full responsibility for their work. If my driver fails to do so, I will report it to the platform. Sorry, dear colleague, it shouldn’t take a fender bender for you to come to your senses.
I know from personal experience that more sustainable working methods result in bigger income. Every deductible you have to pay is one deductible too much and every driving error is preventable. In short – and I can’t believe I have to stress it – you shouldn’t sleep at the wheel.
Souvenirs from previous customers on the back seat
Every taxi is basically like an open house. 2–4 customers per hour, 150 customers per week – you are bound to find the customers’ footprints and fingerprints even in the most unexpected nooks and crannies of your car. However, all too often I also see layers of dirt or snus and gum on the floor mat, which is inexcusable. As a driver, it pains me to hear a customer call my car dirty. Constant cleaning of the car is a costly and laborious task, so hearing these types of comments can easily ruin my entire day.
This is why I always make sure that the back seat and the floor mats are clean after every customer. Nobody expects you to clean the car after each ride, but make sure to keep some cleaning wipes in the glove compartment so you can carry on and keep the customers satisfied with your service.
The app taxi driver pays too much for the insurance
Why should you even have separate insurance for the taxi? Well, because taxis have a significantly higher mileage than an average car and insurance providers have the right to ask about the intended purpose of the vehicle. The intended purpose becomes known to them once you apply for your service provider card. In the worst-case scenario, your insurance service provider can terminate the contract unilaterally because you have violated the terms. And then there’s really nothing you can do about it.
Thankfully, Cachet’s app taxi insurance takes into account the actual time spent in the traffic with customers and offers cheaper insurance thanks to that.
Check it out!
App Taxi Driver Kaspar