Tag Archives: Cab surveys

The survey results

Thanks for taking the time to vote on this, my first readership survey, of those who viewed last week’s post over half filled in the questions.

The typical CabbieBlog reader is a male from the London area, who is approaching the twilight of his life. He has received via email my missives for over half a decade which he devours rapaciously every day. Although his preference is London’s history a bit of trivia doesn’t come amiss, and thinks CabbieBlog could do better, even though he hasn’t himself written a blog.

After that rather tongue-in-cheek summary, let’s have a look at the real data.

(1) Male or female?

I don’t believe there are fewer females reading stuff on the internet than men, so either I’ve disillusioned female readers or else my choice of subject matter has proved more appealing to male anoraks like myself. Sorry ladies, I’ll try not to lose any more of you.

80% male; 20% female

(2) Age?

I’m rapidly haemorrhaging the younger audience too, ten years ago when meeting other bloggers and blog readers almost all were under 30, but that’s now less than 10 per cent. I suspect blogging’s become a bit old school for the younger generation, many of whom prefer video content to twice-weekly 600 word essays. Admittedly I’m now two age groups higher than when I started the blog in June 2008, and many of my readers will have aged along with me, but my audience is maturing faster than that, which may be why some days the comments descend into a nostalgic wallow. Over 90 per cent of my readers are over 50 and, as you might expect, none under 20. Curiously also there are none in the 40-year-old group.

Under 20 none; 20-39 8%; 40-49 none; 50-59 24%; 60-69 20%; 70+ 48%

(3) Where do you live?

Nearly half of my readership lives in London, the city I write about the most, while one quarter is from the rest of England, most likely with an Eastern England bias if my comments are anything to go by. Over one-quarter of you are still from outside the UK, so it can’t only be my reports about cabs to Cockfosters which keep you coming back. I guess in these travel-restricted times it doesn’t really matter where you’re from, so long as you don’t mind reading about somewhere you’re unlikely to be able to visit.

London 48%; England 24%; United Kingdom 0%; Europe 12%; World 16%

(4) When did you first check out CabbieBlog?

This question celebrates the longevity of CabbieBlog’s readers. 12 per cent of you claim to have been reading for at least 12 years, and another 16 per cent for more than 10 years (assuming your memory of that first visit is truly accurate). More and more of you have joined in as successive years have passed, and as hardly anyone ever gets redirected here from anywhere else any more, surprisingly 20 per cent have arrived since 2020. But thank you all for sticking around, however long it’s been.

2008-2010 12%: 2011-2013 16%; 2014-2016 20%; 2017-2019 32%; 2020+ 20%

(5) How often do you read CabbieBlog?

Curiously 56 per cent of respondents read CabbieBlog every day, even though I only post four times a week. Nearly a third peruse the site weekly, and hardly surprisingly no one filled in the survey upon stumbling upon CabbieBlog for the first time.

Daily 56%; Weekly 32%; Occasionally 12%; First visit 0%

(6) How do you find out when new posts are published on CabbieBlog?

This was for me the most revealing question that 60 per cent discover my new missives from receiving an email, and rather reassuringly 20 per cent check out CabbieBlog regularly to read any new posts.

RSS feed 16%; Newsify 0%; Bloglovin’ 4%; Twitter 0%; CabbieBlog emails 60%; Check out CabbieBlog site 20%

(7) Are four posts a week?

While the majority thought CabbieBlog posted about enough times a week, those who wanted more or felt I droned on too much were identical in number.

Too many 12%; About right 76%; Not enough 12%

(8) What is your best-liked category?

Considering CabbieBlog’s raison d’etre is London’s history it’s hardly surprising that the most popular category is not the opinion of a London cabbie, with zero votes, but history with trivia trailing far behind.

Trivia 16%; Quotations 0%; London history 72%; Thinking allowed 0%; None particularly 12%

(9) Do you own a blog?

A substantial number of you either never wrote a blog in the first place or have given up on producing original long-form content in favour of merely reacting via social media to what others have written. But it’s reassuring to know that blogging isn’t quite dead yet and that I still have competition from at least some of you.

Yes 20.8%; No 79.2%

(10) How do you rate CabbieBlog?

I hesitated to include this question as the result could have been far from reassuring, or worse in telling me that I have been wasting my time this past decade. I squeezed past the halfway point when seven out of ten was my lowest score, and nearly a third of you gave me full marks. Conclusion I must try harder.

1/10-0%; 2/10-0%; 3/10-0%; 4/10-0%; 5/10-0%; 6/10-0%; 7/10-11.5%; 8/10-19.2%; 9/10-38.5%; 10/10-30.8%

4,821 can’t be wrong

comments

I drive the world’s best taxi giving a level of service that is second to none. How do I know? Well, the annual survey of 4,821 respondents from 23 countries by Hotels.com has revealed that London taxis polled 28 per cent of the votes putting us way out in front of our nearest rivals in New York who only polled 9 per cent. London Cabbies came first in five out of the seven categories including safety, friendliness, and cleanliness, quality of driving and knowledge of the area. Our famous chat and banter weren’t so popular with 37 per cent of Korean and 30 per cent of German visitors who said that they hated “chatty drivers”.
No matter, group hug chaps.

[B]UT WAIT A MINUTE, what empirical evidence was used to reach this conclusion? Precisely none. Every contributor used their own judgment of what they wanted from their taxi experience. And that is the problem; all these sites on the World Wide Wait provide a means to express one’s own opinion. Mister Angry to Miss Supine all has a chance to express their view. And who are these people? I don’t know, and nor do you, they could be genuine or one of my colleagues’ brother-in-law.

It is the modern curse, this information overload. A guidebook, written by professionals can at least be relied on to be consistent; but these sites rely almost solely on user-generated content – and there is plenty out there in cyberspace – I should know, contributing more than my fair share of personal opinions which my Korean and German customers seem to abhor.

One of the biggest sites is TripAdvisor who boast 45 million users, who once claimed on its homepage that it had ‘reviews you can trust’, but following from an allegation that up to 10 million reviews of hotels, restaurants, and holiday businesses could be fakes, possibly posted by the proprietors of these services, which prompted an investigation by the Advertising Standards Authority, TripAdvisor has dropped their claim of trustworthy reviews. Presumably, now you should only use these comments as a rough guide.

So I decided to do a little research of my own in relation to the London taxi service and tripped over, so to speak, to TripAdvisor:

Moi0606 asked, quite reasonably I thought: “Can anyone tell me how difficult it is to get a cab from Marble Arch to [Natural History] Museum and then return at end of the day. Your advice is very much appreciated”. To which ajeleonard gave this valuable advice: “About as difficult as sticking your arm out and hailing one with its light on”.

Linet wanted to know: “We will need to take a 5-10 minute cab ride in London when we visit in May. Approximately how much would this cost?” CheshireCat helpfully writing from Chester some 170 miles away gave this answer on London cab fares which should leave Linet in no doubt as to the cost: “Assuming you hail a taxi in the street or pick one up from a rank, my best guess is budget for about 5-7GBP. But . . . this isn’t a straightforward question. Depends on lots of things as fares are a combination of distance and journey time plus a whole lot of “extras” (e.g. how many people, how much luggage, time of day). Also if you pre-order one expects to see £1.50-2.00 on the meter before you start your journey. Fares are regulated so see: londontransport.co.uk/pco/taxi_fares.shtml for details of how they arrive at a figure.

Clearly concerned by being ripped off Rickamandog inquired: “I was reading a recent posting that said that the cabs [fares] in London were outrageous.” TexasEllen replied: “Black Cab drivers are a whole lot better than they used to be and generally are very appreciative when you tip them. Unfortunately we came across one of the old school who took us to London Bridge Station, his technique was to get out of the cab walk around the back of the cab and accept the fare on the kerbside, the fare was 7GBP I only had a 10GBP note as he walked back around I heard him say “I guess we will call that even” yeah like a tip of 40 per cent whatever per cent is even, I would have given him a pound coin, I’m a pretty good tipper but 3 pounds on a 7 pound fare was an attempted rip-off. I have never come across this before and don’t expect to again. We have found them to be knowledgeable and if you treat them well you get the same back. We even had one sing The Yellow Rose of Texas, after we told him we were from Texas.

Well thanks, Ellen, your review is obviously genuine.

So there you have it, you pays your money and takes your choice, or in the case of the internet don’t pay your money and take your chance.

A version of this post was published by CabbieBlog on 11th October 2011

4,821 can’t be wrong

comments

I drive the world’s best taxi giving a level of service that is second to none. How do I know? Well, the annual survey of 4,821 respondents from 23 countries by Hotels.com has revealed that London taxis polled 28 per cent of the votes putting us way out in front of our nearest rivals in New York who only polled
9 per cent. London Cabbies came first in five out of the seven categories including safety, friendliness, and cleanliness, quality of driving and knowledge of the area. Our famous chat and banter wasn’t so popular with 37 per cent of Korean and 30 per cent of German visitors who said that they hated “chatty drivers”. No matter, group hug chaps.

[B]ut wait a minute, what empirical evidence was used to reach this conclusion? Precisely none. Every contributor used their own judgment of what they wanted from their taxi experience. And that is the problem; all these sites on the World Wide Wait provide a means to express one’s own opinion. Mister Angry to Miss Supine all have a chance to express their view. And who are these people? I don’t know, and nor do you, they could be genuine or one of my colleagues’ brother-in-law.

It is the modern curse, this information overload. A guide book, written by professionals can at least be relied on to be consistent; but these sites rely almost solely on user-generated content- and there is plenty out there in cyberspace – I should know, contributing more than my fair share of personal opinions which my Korean and German customers seem to abhor.

One of the biggest sites is TripAdvisor who boast 45 million users, who once claimed on its homepage that it had “reviews you can trust”, but following from an allegation that up to
10 million reviews of hotels, restaurants, and holiday businesses could be fakes, possibly posted by the proprietors of these services, which prompted an investigation by the Advertising Standards Authority, TripAdvisor has dropped their claim of trustworthy reviews. Presumably now you should only use these comments as a rough guide.

So I decided to do a little research of my own in relation to the London taxi service and tripped over, so to speak, to TripAdvisor:

Moi0606 asked, quite reasonably I thought: “Can anyone tell me how difficult it is to get a cab from Marble Arch to [Natural History] Museum and then return at end of the day. Your advice is very much appreciated”. To which ajeleonard gave this valuable advice: “About as difficult as sticking your arm out and hailing one with its light on”.

Linet wanted to know: “We will need to take a 5-10 minute cab ride in London, when we visit in May. Approximately how much would this cost?” CheshireCat helpfully writing from Chester some 170 miles away gave this answer on London cab fares which should leave Linet in no doubt as to the cost: “Assuming you hail a taxi in the street or pick one up from a rank, my best guess is budget for about 5-7GBP. But . . . this isn’t a straightforward question. Depends on lots of things as fares are a combination of distance and journey time plus a whole lot of “extras” (e.g. how many people, how much luggage, time of day). Also if you pre-order one expect to see 1.50-2.00 GBPon the meter before you start your journey. Fares are regulated so see: londontransport.co.uk/pco/taxi_fares.shtml for details of how they arrive at a figure.

Clearly concerned by being ripped off Rickamandog inquired: “I was reading a recent posting that said that the cabs [fares] in London were outrageous.” TexasEllen replied: “Black Cab drivers are a whole lot better than they used to be and generally are very appreciative when you tip them. Unfortunately we came across one of the old school who took us to London Bridge Station, his technique was to get out of the cab walk around the back of the cab and accept the fare on the kerbside, the fare was 7GBP I only had a 10GBP note as he walked back around I heard him say “I guess we will call that even” yeah like a tip of 40%whatever percent is even, I would have given him a pound coin, I’m a pretty good tipper but 3 pounds on a 7 pound fare was an attempted rip-off. I have never come across this before and don’t expect to again. We have found them to be knowledgeable and if you treat them well you get the same back. We even had one sing The Yellow Rose of Texas, after we told him we were from Texas.

Well thanks Ellen, your review is obviously genuine.

So there you have it, you pays your money and takes your choice, or in the case of the internet don’t pay your money and take your chance.