M’am, do you need a taxi now?

My wifey and I were about to catch a taxi to meet her friends for dinner, when we found ourselves in an uncomfortable 40-minutes saga with the nation’s largest taxi provider. I’m not a big fan of complaint letters because I don’t think they deserve my feedback.

In this unique incident, I feel compelled to do so, because we deserve an apology for our time wasted from the company’s inefficiency.

I’ve emailed the Group Corporate Communications Officer of its parent company, and copied the Assistant Vice President. There isn’t a point writing to the company’s Customer Service department unless you’re willing to wait for a month for a response, if any in the first place. My complaint deserves the attention of their senior authority.

40 fucking minutes wasted to wait for a non-existent taxi to take us from Cross Street to Clarke Quay. We could’ve walked to our destination in half the amount of time. They are just plain lucky I did not copy their competitors’ CEOs, Land Transport Authority, and my friendly media contacts from Singapore Press Holdings.

This is my letter of complaint:

Dear Ms XXX,

I write with reference to my dreadful experience with XXX, as of 5 October, Friday, at 7:30pm. To say I was disappointed in the nation’s largest provider in the taxi industry is an understatement. For a brand that claims apparent passion in providing “best-in-class services that lead the market”, XXX’s undying passion seemed to have simmered into a bucket full of complacency last evening.

It was at about 7:30pm when I placed a taxi booking via XXX’s hotline, to take me from the taxi stand in front of DBS, which is right beside China Square Food Centre, opposite Far East Square, towards Telok Ayer Street. The taxi confirmed for pick-up, license plate number XXXX, was scheduled to arrive between 10 to 12 minutes.

When the taxi failed to arrive after 15 minutes, I promptly called the hotline again, bypassed the recording that said “Do you wish to cancel your booking now?”, to speak to the telephone operator. I was absolutely taken aback when the telephone operator informed me that there was “some booking error”, and that the taxi driver “thought that the booking was canceled”.

So much for “having the state-of-the-art General Radio Packet System, harnessing the latest technologies and building on operational excellence”, or so its mission statement states.

I was provided with another taxi, license plate number XXXX, and was informed to expect the taxi in 5 minutes.

For the second time after 5 minutes, I found myself calling the hotline again, to enquire the whereabouts of my taxi. “M’am, your taxi is ‘very near you’,” I was told. Unfortunately, after 10 minutes, my taxi was nowhere to be found. In my third call to the hotline at 8:10pm, I was told, “But M’am, the driver couldn’t find you, so he drove off,”.

Surely the driver could have found the decency to call me on my mobile to enquire on my location? Does XXX’s Employee Programme not include such basic customer service training?

It was almost funny that the telephone operator could find the cheek to ask me if I would like to book my third XXX taxi, after waiting for almost 40 minutes.

How does one find the audacity to claim to be “the preferred land provider” while failing to meet the most basic of all standards of customer service, is beyond my comprehension.

If you can look into this matter, I will greatly appreciate it.

Yours Sincerely,

Patricia Law

P.S. A competitor’s taxi came to pick me up under 5 minutes after my 40-minutes saga with XXX.


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