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Comment: Re:Not pointless at all... (Score 3, Informative) 112

American here. Filing suit for a taxi that never showed is a bit much but having been in that position I can understand the anger. Sometimes it's necessary to read "sue" as an American idiom for "Grrrr, I'm really mad and they should have done better."

That said, these crazy new-fangled smartphone app taxi services show me exactly who's coming to pick me up and how far away they are. That's a big step up from "we'll send someone as soon as they're available".

Voting with your dollars (euros, whatever) and putting them towards a better service will ultimately make a big difference. But, wait! Are you going to find another company to provide a taxi or file a complaint with regulators (generally run by livery companies in the US) (it's a problem, we know) while you're waiting for that cab who's taken another fare and won't be coming to pick you up after all?

It's probably best not to think of uber, sidecar, lyft, etcetera as taxi companies. They're providing a marketplace for that kind of service. Folks that don't play nice (cabbies who don't show and customers too drunk to sit without vomiting) get weeded out.

Comment: Re:Explain (Score 1) 112

Amazon's is hardly a comparable business model so we'll look past that straw man. Uber is already profitable in most cities so, as a business, it kinda makes sense.

Don't know where you're from but having recently moved to San Francisco from Boston it's not very likely in either city that you'd be able to hail a cab on the street save for at major transit stations. The value of this kind of service is to get a ride quickly, easily, and with a reasonable expectation for the level of service provided. Here in SF it's cheaper to use uberX (their not-a-black-towncar service) than a taxi for anything more than a couple blocks. Sure, Manhattanites south of 110th can live their whole lives without considering Uber but I've found it quite useful.

Comment: Re:It seems that (Score 3, Informative) 112

1) Currently in San Francisco uberX (their lower-cost, non-town-car service) is cheaper than a yellow cab and, unless you live at a Caltrain or BART station, far easier to find.

2) If you were to reserve a ride with a cab company directly there's very little accountability for how long it will take to get a pick-up. All of these apps let you to see where your driver is while en-route and allow you to give feedback regarding the level of service received.

That adds a lot of value for me on top of the fact that I don't have to wait on hold.

The only thing cheaper than hardware is talk.

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