This is a special rant. What is wrong with the internet? 20 years ago it was a great tool. Now it is tarnished, broken and almost useless. We “ask” for information, and it gives us disinformation.
I knew this a long time ago. My wife and I discussed this over the past 20 years. The web has been manipulated by greed to become a complete time-waster. Every search, every link is peppered with ads for ways for a human to spend money based on what the computer algorithm thinks we will buy.
The system is rigged. I do a google search for “taxi in wilkes barre” and it tells me there are 188,000 results. Guess what there are (2) taxi companies licensed by the state to operate in Wilkes-Barre. I own ONE OF THEM.
Here is google’s response:
NONE ARE TAXI Companies.
So we scroll down. And find several links to websites that represent the other local cab company. When their phone is busy, and they do not answer, the customer needs to scroll down, and go through several pages and MAYBE they will find me.
This takes time. And of course there are ads and listings for UBER along the path. Uber, is NOT a taxi company. They do not accept cash, do not pick up outside the city limits in rural areas, and believe it or not, there are people looking for a real, old-timey taxi cab that charges the same rate, is driven by a professional, experienced, knowledgeable driver.
Uber is not a cab company, and will NOT legally or even physically be able to pick customers up in rural destination. Now what? Caveat Emptor? Why?
The public should be able to find a taxi cab phone number immediately and efficiently. They should also be able to find a listing of hotels they can call when they are in need of lodging. People’s cars breakdown, flight get delayed or diverted. These seemingly simple things have become difficult.
WHY SHOULD I PAY to have a listing on the web? Each search engine and marketing company has a scheme to charge me money for people to “find me” on the web.
I’m NOT GETTING RIPPED OFF
Google, Yelp, etc. WANT an average of $6.62 for a Click Through. They want me to pay them that amount when a unique individual clicks my ad to find out about my service.
The average taxi fare is less than $10.00.
A click through does not mean that I get a customer, they need to CALL me and have to be in the area I am licensed to service. Yelp told me 6 people clicked on my ad and (1) called me. And had the audacity to try and hold me hostage for a guarantee, of $4200 ($350 per month x 12) to THEM for an ad that would put me ON TOP of the listings I showed you.
OK, lets say the rate of clicks to calls gets better- 2clicks /1 call. I will be paying them $13.34 to get a call for $10 (on average) So, every customer they send me puts me closer to insolvency and generally gives me a customer who is NEVER calling me again, because they are visiting town and needed a local cab.
The masters of the internet want me to raise my rates so I can afford to advertise through them, as opposed to me BEING at the top of the phone book list because I paid for and obtained a state license to be a taxi. There are (2) licensed and operating cab companies in Wilkes Barre PA, NONE LISTED DIRECTLY IN SEARCH on GOOGLE.
What happened to using a search engine to find true, correct and USEFUL information?
They have it twisted. How can we fix this?