24 May, 2009

Taxi Al-Momayaz .. not so Momayaz!?

Been a while since i did some public transportation blogging , ha!? Don't worry .. still here, monitoring :)

In the last several months or so, we had witnessed some Kuwaiti investments in the public transportation sector, that were unfortunately rapidly hit by the global economic crisis as others. 1st was the Amman-Zarqa light railway project , that until now, not just only didn't get to see light, but is still in a “tendering mode!” , that is after the 1st investor (Pakistani – Chinese – Jordanian alliance of a constructor contractor , steel manufacturer and real estate office respectively ) was rejected after it exceeded the time limit of assuring the needed money twice. The 2nd company taking over this BOT project was a strong Kuwaiti – Spanish alliance that applied their strength in rising up the projects expenses, but also failed twice in assuring the needed money, and thus the project was withdrawn from it by the government, resulting in having a case raised up in an international court, where the government is currently paying this alliance back!

Anyway, On the other hand, the Kuwaitis came up taking a license last year for Al-Momayaz Taxi, to be a quality taxi service with high standards, availability, on demand service, and quality. Especially after the PTRC's failure and what was to be called “The beige taxi” few years back, which happened to be nothing more or less than the yellow ones, and are still roaming our streets just like the yellow cabs.

So, the crisis came, and the modifications started in Al-Momayaz tender! 1st from the time of starting (which was a couple of months late), to the number of cars to start with (the actual start was less than 50 cabs), the type of cars (From 200 Toyota Camrys and 200 Mercedes E200 to 300 Toyota Corollas and 100 Mercedes E200), until the changes in tariffs and making the Mercedes tariff start from 1 JD, though gas prices were much higher and time of contracting!

Anyway, Me personally, as a seeker for quality, didnt have any problem getting into a silver colored Corolla, just like other Corolla cabs roaming around the Jordanian streets and paying extra money just for the sake of quality, quality to be represented with several added value services starting from polite and well trained drivers, with no “sorry that's not my way” excuses, to GPS tracking for the cars, requesting cabs by phone (also assisted by the GPS tracking system to let operators choose the closest car to your location), specified tariffs regardless of the time or destination, and even electronic payment.

When things come to the ground, you can obviously find that those from Al-Momayaz Taxi care about the image, the cars are always clean and tidy from inside and outside as well as their drivers, who are well selected and are professional as well as polite ones. Momayaz Taxi are also making sure to have stationaries at several luxurious hotels and commercial centers around town. But , is that all that is needed by such a service !?

Well, when it comes to the riding experience, Al-Momayaz taxi has new kinds of taxi counters (still not as supposed to be and not up to European standards), but good enough to be clear and give you a receipt with your trip details. And you'd pay just as the counter says, with no extra amounts of money for certain areas like yellow cabs would sometimes do when you tell them you want to go to a place they don't prefer. And al-momayaz drivers accept to stop and wait for you to drop by a shop or something during the trip without any problems, much not like the yellow cab drivers. But when it comes to late night hours (after midnight mainly), several experiences showed up that we still do have the after midnight problem of not sticking to the counter even in the Al-Momayaz Taxi! Either by having the driver telling you short and to the point that this would cost you an X amount of money without running the counter, or even pretending that they forgot to run the counter or close it “By mistake” during the trip!

Now the amount of money asked by them after midnight can be even less than yellow cabs at this time of the night, and pretty equal to how much the counter would count, the only difference is that the driver would get the money for his own pocket, and not for the company's.... when asking the drivers why would they do that, they all answer the same complaining from the Kuwaiti company's administration and their low wages (which is 250 JDs plus commissions by the way). Not that much for a driver who has been driving for at least 3-4 years! And what kind of QOS would come when you give your employees such low wages! It would have been more convenient for the Kuwaitis to give more wages for their drivers than having ads on small dirty and unclear ads boards on the middle of the road!

Last but not least, when it comes to phone requesting the cab, the call center is simply rubbish! I've never, ever been answered until now by the customer service operators! It simply keeps ringing and ringing with no answer even in day time. Now the call center is divided into both, an automated taxi request (which weirdly is not always active !! as sometimes the phone just starts ringing at the operator after you hear a voice that the call is recorded for quality measurement), and a vocal one that keeps ringing with no answer as mentioned earlier. As for the automated request, the menu is kind of boring, with some nonsense questions like (press 1 to have a home taxi request or 2 for an office taxi request). And the fact that the automated request prevents you from specifying a time that is less than 30 mins ahead from your call.

Last but not least, i observed that request operators speak with the drivers regarding the requests through the phone (the tracking device is over GSM and has a phone as well), using a headset, and once i even noticed that the operator has assigned a request to the taxi i was riding with despite the taxi was occupied with my order. The driver was telling the operator that he didn't receive the request and that he is occupied already, a very meaningful conversation that showed up that the tracking system they are using is not that of a magnificent one as it didn't show the taxi was occupied for the operator, nor sent the request correctly.

Taxi Al-Momayaz is a good service to have, but it can be much more better even!


Anonymous said...

what made it worse were the advertisements on top. they really make the car look shitty. the amaneh made an issue out of them when renegotiating the deal with noor after it took over from the ptrc, and this is one of the reasons it took them so long to launch after many postponements. they even lied and said that the amaneh was asking them to upgrade all the cars to come mercedes, which didnt happen.

the ads are just another eye-sore.

literally. you can't even tell what the ad is since its so small!

Nido said...

Well I have to admit, when this trend started a few months ago, many of the people I know started using it and only it; seemed like another prestigeous trend in which people could use "I only use al momayyaz"

I waited on it before trying it, and till now I did not try, they always seemed too good to be true to me, and too expensive!

Besides, is't it always about the presentation? they presented it well, but I think I had a gut feeling that this was "only" about presentation while reality would be less than perfect..

W sho malha el buses y3ni? :P

nasimjo© said...

Anonymous, i agree regarding the ad on top of the car, it makes the cars uglier.

Nido, Buses rock :)

Ali Alhasani said...

Very interesting post nasim, Great work as always.

I didn't try AL MOMAYAZ TAXI yet, And actually i'm very curios to try, I'm it's amazing to ride in a clean taxi with a polite driver and with all these cool gadgets they use.

About the Ads on top, They are simply the best idea ever, Did anyone happen to notice the ads on top of new york taxis ?, It's the same idea, Though it would be good if they make the size of the ad larger, That way it will look nice.

I love this service and i wish for it all succes.

tarek kopty said...

hello there,
am a jordanian citizen just like all of you guys out there, i think al momayaz is a gr8 idea, yellow cabs these days don't have strict restrictions to follow, they always drive fast, they always swear in the car, and they really don't give respect to the people riding with them unless it's a girl ofcoarse they don't take thier eyes of them!!!
al momayaz have these restrictions, and they r strict about it u can never see an unoccupied momayaz in the streets that wouldn't stop to pick u up, unlike the yellow cabs.
no matter what time it, they always use the counters and it's up to u if u want to tip them or not unlike the yellow cabs who usually ask for the charge after having a clear look on ur wallet!!!
anyways i really wish we have another company like al momayaz so they can compete for prices although relatively speaking they r not expensive at all!
have a good day
oo sabah il watan al jameel

Anonymous said...

Hey ..
no GPS, no location tracking,,,what is the special?
there is a lot of 2008,2009 yellow Taxis betetr than or equal to Al-Momayyaz
specially your trip need not more than 10 minutes

Anonymous said...

erkab elmomayyaz 3ashan tetmayyaz :D