Free Wi-fi in Manchester Cabs


December 26, 2013

Multinational Corporation, Microsoft, recently introduced a free Wi-Fi service in 25 black cabs in Manchester.

The company claims the service will be received well by taxi drivers. In reality; it seems the taxi trade may take some convincing.

Views from Microsoft

Microsoft jumped at the chance to drive their in-taxi Wi-Fi campaign into a thriving, business city after a recent survey revealed passengers would like to see Wi-Fi and charging facilities installed in cabs.

Microsoft Chief Marketing Officer, Philippa Snare, said: “Manchester is an important centre of business, so choosing to expand our in-taxi Wi-Fi campaign to the city was a natural choice.”

Sarah Priseman, director of taxi advertising specialists, Ubiquitous, also commented: “This is the first time Manchester cabs have had Wi-Fi. The idea is that we don’t take it in and out – once chosen they have it forever.”

The most recent advancement to the city’s cabs follows the City Council’s own updates as they approved a wider choice of black cabs for sale in the competitive taxi market including the market-leading Peugeot E7.

Word on the Street

Simon Guilliatt, Development Manager of Cab Direct, took to the streets of Manchester to find out what the city’s taxi drivers really thought of the campaign.

Taxi business owner, Iain Reid, told Cab Direct: “The general consensus is that this Wi-Fi campaign is a complete waste of time.  Microsoft has advertised a free, no hassle and no password Wi-Fi system that will work well in cabs due to the short journeys.

“What they don’t tell you is that you have to watch at least 5 minutes of adverts before you can use the Wi-Fi.”

On average, each customer is in a cab for less than 15 minutes so passengers choosing a “Wi-Fi Cab” are complaining that by the time they manage to get through the stream of ads they’re at the end of their journey.

Iain also said: “Microsoft promotes an all-singing, all-dancing, free Wi-Fi system in return for some advertising space on our cabs. But, in reality, it won’t work for the taxi business and only results in us dealing with complaints from our customers.”

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