Interviews

31Oct

Kabbee users are never fashionably late, with these new watches!

Mandavi wins a limited edition London Fashion Week watch, Courtesy of Kabbee

Mandavi wins a limited edition London Fashion Week watch, Courtesy of Kabbee

Being late for London Fashion Week is a big faux pas, so Kabbee wanted to ensure that its users were getting to and from the ‘FRO’ (catwalk front row) on time, with timely minicabs AND free watches!

In order to be in with a chance of winning a London Fashion Week Limited Edition Swatch, all users had to do was to travel with Kabbee to or from Somerset House during LFW…..talk about easy peasy!

Mandavi was one of four lucky winners, and here’s what we found out once we’d had a chance to catch up:

Mandavi Kaushik

Mandavi is an avid fashion enthusiast who lives in London with her little kid. She enjoys dressing both herself and others up with very stylish and cultural garments. Mandavi also has a keen interest in interior design and event styling. There’s no surprise to hear that her day job is a ‘UX designer’ and by night  she’s a fashion stylist & blogger. Snazzy! You can see some of her work here.

Mandavi is a regular user of Kabbee and is often booking a minicab between fashion events around London. Ironically, she was chilling on the sofa after a tiring few days at London Fashion Week when she found out that she’d won the competition.

We asked her about her London Fashion Week experience: “It’s always fun to soak up some London Fashion Week at Somerset House. It’s a great place to discover street style and get inspiration for your wardrobe.”  You can discover a glimpse of Mandavi’s fashion week diaries on her Instagram account http://instagram.com/mandavi.

Mandavi was over the moon to win her very own watch, she said: “I am pretty chuffed about winning the limited edition Swatch watch. It came as a very pleasant surprise to me. I totally recommend the Kabbee service because it’s reliable and efficient.”

9Oct

Kabbee Celebrates National Customer Service Week

Pranuthi enjoys her role in customer service

Pranuthi enjoys her role in customer service

National Customer Service Week is dedicated to raising awareness of the importance of customer service and the vital role it plays in successful business practice. We recognize the hard work of our team and this month, our users rated us 8 out of 10 for customer service!

To celebrate this special week, we caught up with the Kabbee’s wonderful Customer Service Manager, Pranuthi Chander, to find out the most exciting elements in her role…

What do you enjoy most about working with Kabbee?

I love the buzz here; no two days are the same and there’s always something going on – like a new customer service initiative, training a new fleet, launching a new feature.

What does your role at Kabbee entail?

Customers! Ensuring that they have a great experience with us always. We get lots of positive feedback from our customers, which is always a pleasure and of course I am keen to resolve any issues that may arise as soon as possible.

How much experience have you had in customer service – was your previous job similar to your current role?

I have worked in customer service roles in the past, mostly in retail but Kabbee is very different from my previous roles. We work with a variety of London’s best licensed fleets, which is challenging and keeps me on my toes!

What advice would you give beginners joining the customer service sector?

If you’re passionate about helping others and develop a love your product, you’re good to go.

How does Kabbee reward / incentivise loyal customers?

We offer a Free Cabs programme – a brilliant referral scheme that my friends and I have benefitted from. We simply share a referral code with a friend, and receive £10 free credit if they make their first booking with Kabbee, and our friend will also get £10 free credit too! It’s my job to select our top customer raters of the month (my favourite part) and reward them with £50. Our product team are working on a brand new loyalty scheme that we are very excited about too – it’s a secret for now…

What feature or service of Kabbee appeals to customers the most?

Our passengers know that they can choose between a fully vetted range of the best minicab companies that offer competitive prices and lead times. They can customise their car to suit their needs and have the flexibility of pre-booking a journey or jumping into a Kabbee straight away.

How do you plan on celebrating National Customer Service Week?

Every week is customer service week at Kabbee HQ… :)

 

14Sep

Ryan’s ravishing idea wins £100 Kabbee credit

At Kabbee, we wanted to find out the best things to do and the coolest places to go for two people in London, on a £10 budget.

So we launched a social media competition between August 29th and September 5th that gave people the chance to tweet or post a fun activity for two friends to do in London with just a tenner, using the hashtag #StuffToDoFor10.

Ryan Williams was the lucky winner of the £100 Kabbee credit after coming up with this idea (see tweet here):

Ryan's tweet

 

We caught up with Ryan to find out more:

Ryan Williams

Ryan Williams, winner of £100 Kabbee credit

Ryan Williams, winner of £100 Kabbee credit

Ryan is a student, currently studying GCSE English, Maths and Photography. In his spare time he enjoys travelling, photography, walking his dog, going to the movies, watching musicals and concerts.

Ryan found out that he’d won the #StuffToDoFor10 competition when he was out for a drink at a local restaurant. He commented: “I’m extremely happy to see £100 credit in my Kabbee account and I’m very grateful that I won. I love that Kabbee hold competitions to reward loyal customers!

“I use Kabbee a lot for short trips in London when I don’t know how to get to where I need to go. It’s extremely convenient for me. I prefer it to other minicab apps because you get an exact quote at a price that is fixed.”

We also asked Ryan about his overall experience with Kabbee: “Kabbee is a great app; I first used it in December 2011 and have continued to use it ever since. Fantastic customer service and a superb app, I can’t wait to spend my credit and take my friend for that Pizza. Haha!”

 

 

6Sep

Kabbee’s High Flyer Wins £50 Credit

With 25% of all your Kabbee journeys going to and from London’s five airports, we wanted to give a little something back to reward users.

We launched a competition in August that gave some lucky winners free Kabbee credit to get their next airport journey for free.

And here are some of the winners, ready to say hello:

Artyom Smirnov

Artyom

 

Artyom Smirnov, winner of £50 Kabbee credit

Artyom works as an oil and gas consultant in London and enjoys keeping fit in his spare time. He is also greatly interested by politics, so is often found with his head in a newspaper or watching the news channels.

We spoke to Artyom to find out more… “I was actually sitting at my desk at work when I found out that I had won the £50 Kabbee credit. It was a fantastic surprise and I was delighted to find out that I’d be able to catch a few free cabs around London using my favourite minicab app that I know I can rely on!”

 

Yoel Flohr

Yoel runs a small consultancy in London and is also due to open an office in New York City. As Yoel is often on the move around the capital, he uses Kabbee for all of his cab journeys around London. Being a regular user, Yoel mentioned that he was very happy to reap some lovely rewards.

Yoel commented on the Kabbee service, “I love the service that Kabbee provides. It is very reliable and brings transparency to a market that wasn’t there before. The ratings are a great way to figure out which company is most reliable and I particularly love the fact that the price you book at is the price you pay; no surge pricing! I will be recommending Kabbee to all of my friends.”

1Sep

Kabbee Founder Responds to Inside Out London’s Feature on Illegal Minicabs

Kabbee Founder on Inside Out London

Kabbee Founder on Inside Out London

Tonight’s Inside Out London programme focused on the number of illegal minicabs in the capital.  The feature was prompted by black cabbies who said their passengers are being touted by illegal minicab drivers, who solicit would-be passengers on the streets.  This is a major issue in London, and we’re proud that Kabbee is designed to combat the problem.  As far as we are concerned, one illegal minicab is too many.

The dangers of getting into an unmarked vehicle are absolutely unthinkable, and TFL has invested a lot of money into raising awareness and educating people about avoiding the use of illegal minicabs or ‘cowboys’ as night time revelers refer to them.  This programme reveals that there is still a lot of work to be done.  One London black taxi driver said: ‘There are so many touts, we can’t get through to the partygoers as they leave the nightclubs.”  That’s rather concerning when you take into account that there were only 74 arrests for touting last year – that’s obviously not enough.  We need more enforcement against drivers who are breaking the law.

What are illegal touts doing to the minicab and taxi industry?

In London alone, there are 65,000 licensed minicabs (40% of all licensed minicabs in the UK), whose drivers do a fantastic job, helping to get millions of Londoners from A to B safely.  The behaviour of illegal minicabs, or ‘touts’ is completely undoing the great work that licensed minicab drivers do in the capital, by damaging the reputation and creating a ‘grey area’ for people who aren’t familiar with what type of transport options are safe, and which aren’t.

How can you tell if a minicab is licensed?

By law, licensed minicabs must only pick up passengers who have pre-booked a journey.  It’s as simple as that.  The only cars that can be flagged down, or taken without a booking via a licensed  office, are London’s iconic black cabs.  The Kabbee app allows people to book a minicab instantly, or to book ahead – either way, a licensed minicab arrives and the passenger receives a text message beforehand with the car’s registration plate details – there’s no room for error.  Kabbee works with over 70 fantastic fleets, who provide up to 15,000 cars to app users – all fleets have to pass a strict 30-point check, to ensure 100% safety and professionalism on every journey.

What can you do to stay safe?

In the event that a black cab or night bus is not an option, always have a minicab aggregator app on your smartphone.  You will be able to access a safe, licensed minicab within minutes.  No matter where you are in London, you’ll have access to up to 15,000 licensed minicabs, night or day.  Licensed minicab apps like Kabbee allow you to pay by card and  even pre-load your account with credit, so there’s no need to stop off at a cash machine late at night.  We always recommend that when waiting for a minicab, you stay exactly where you have specified as your pick-up point, and whilst waiting, stay with a friend, or whoever you’re out with.  As soon as a licensed minicab driver collects you, they will alert the minicab office to say they have collected you, and that you’re on your way to your destination.

How can you help?

There are a few ways that you can help yourself, and others:

  1. Never get in an unmarked vehicle, ever.  No matter how many people you are with, or what the driver says, by taking an unmarked cab, you’re encouraging the illegal behaviour, which is causing a danger to others.
  2. Pre-book a minicab before you go out or when you are thinking about heading home – don’t leave getting home to chance
  3. You can help your friends by suggesting that they download a minicab app – they’ll never be stranded with no way to get home again. (With Kabbee you and your friend get £10 free credit every time a new friend joins)
  4. Raise awareness, and act smart – when you’re out, remind friends to think before they start to head home – what’s the safest way?

Thanks for taking the time out to read this blog – it’s people like you that can spread the word to keep others safe.

Justin Peters, Kabbee CEO & Founder

 

26Aug

A lucky Londoner who booked a ride with Kabbee last month, has won £250 worth of Sushi Samba for two!

The winner was Iya Goubareva, based in Wapping. We spoke to Iya to find out how she’ll be spending her grand prize…

Iya looks excited to visit Sushi Samba

Iya looks excited to visit Sushi Samba!

The outdoor queen, Iya Goubareva lives in Wapping, London and uses her favourite mobile app, Kabbee, about once a week. She loves travelling, and being outdoors exploring the unusual, and is addicted to research – most likely due to her career as a Biomedical Research Scientist. Iya is also studying Optimum Nutrition at Richmond Optimum Nutrition Institute.

In her spare time, Iya enjoys cooking, inventing recipes, skiing, reading, and most of all – dining out, which is why she was ecstatic to win a luxurious visit to Sushia Samba. The best part of the story, is that she won the prize on her birthday (happy belated)!

After winning £250 worth of Sushi Samba, Iya expresses her gratitude, and explains how she plans to spend her evening: “I was sitting in my living room, on my birthday, and I received an email from Kabbee saying ‘Congratulations!’ and I jumped out of my seat! I was so surprised to win such an awesome prize – I’ve never won any raffles or lotteries in my whole life, and I even thought it must be a mistake and had to double check the email…

“I’m very excited to dine at Sushi Samba, and will be taking a very special friend with me. I am a huge Kabbee fan, I am so impressed with the app’s features, and the fact that I can book a cab on my phone in a flash, choose the time, the price, and the size of the vehicle. I can pay online and have money on my account for emergencies – now I can even see exactly how far my cab is from my destination. Kabbee has made my year.”

 

 

7Aug

Kabbee Supports the ‘Engine Off’ Rule

Car fumes being caused by stationary vehicles

Car fumes being caused by stationary vehicles

Kabbee Founder and CEO shares his opinion on fines for drivers who don’t turn their engines off when stationary

Upon hearing about Islington Council’s decision to introduce fines for drivers who refuse to turn off their engines when stationary, my confidence in the London’s borough councils was instantly increased.

The city’s carbon levels are at an all-time high, and despite City Hall’s ambitions to reduce carbon emissions by 60% before 2025, there doesn’t seem to be too much going on – so this recent news is a good sign.

The Kabbee platform is home to over 70 of London’s best minicab fleets, all of which undergo a strict 30-point check to ensure that all drivers are acting safely and responsibly.  One of the criteria is to turn engines off when stationary, to reduce carbon emissions.

Kabbee provides a ‘green’ car option, accounting for 20 percent of all minicabs that are available on the platform.  Even when a green car has not been booked, if one is available, it will be sent out in place of a gas-powered vehicle, to reduce carbon emissions.

In May this year, we announced our partnership with Thriev, the UK’s first fully-electric minicab fleet – this is the future, and we’re excited to be a part of it, and to make the sustainable service available to up to 500,000 potential users, who previously wouldn’t have booked a green car.

Our fleets must support sustainability, and I speak for the majority when I say we support the fines.  Just today Sharon Theochari of Airport Direct said: “As one of the biggest minicab fleets in London, sustainability is a big deal to us.  We support the decision to fine drivers that don’t turn their engines off.  Most of our vehicles are the latest models and benefit from having the start-stop system, so as soon as they go into neutral, the engine turns off, until they press the accelerator again.”

Our mission as an aggregator of London’s best minicab fleets is to help ‘Make Minicabs Mighty’.  We are helping to strengthen the sector by promoting best practice, to make getting a minicab a pleasurable, hassle-free experience, at the best price.  We also have a rating system, so minicab drivers can be rewarded for doing a good job – acting sustainably by turning engines off when stationary is a major part of that.

The top five cars that our fleets drive all have the auto start-stop systems, they are:

  1. Audi A6
  2. Citroen C3
  3. BMW 3-Series
  4. Toyota Prius
  5. Toyota Yaris

It’s important for me to state that there are times when shutting an engine off might not be the best option, so I’m interested in understanding how councils plan to police the situation.  For example, I was speaking to a driver yesterday who said: “What about during the summer when its 30 degrees, the air con won’t work”, and another said: “In the winter months, it’s not good to turn the engine off, it would be better to leave it on when we reach low or minus temperatures.”

I sincerely hope that more London councils roll out the fines, and even if they don’t, at least Islington Council’s decision is raising awareness of the simplest thing that drivers can do to reduce their impact on the environment.

 By Justin Peters, Kabbee Founder and CEO

17Jul

What Izzzit?!

Elizabeth Barrett

Elizabeth Barrett

Kabbee offered £100 free credit to Kiss FM to giveaway with many other cool prizes in their recent ‘Izzzit’ competition.  To win the prize bundle, listeners of the breakfast show had to identify what the sound was after a sound clip was played.

After several weeks, one lucky winner finally managed to guess the sound correctly… It was a football being kicked through grass!

The winner was Elizabeth Barrett, from Cheam, Surrey. We spoke to Elizabeth to find out more about her…

Elizabeth lives with her husband in the London borough of Sutton, Surrey. Away from her job in marketing, Elizabeth enjoys baking, sewing and going out with her friends.

Elizabeth told us how she won the competition: “I’m a regular listener of the Kiss breakfast show as it’s usually on in my living room when I’m getting ready for work in the mornings. I had tried to get through to make a guess on several occasions but had no luck.

“After about the fifth time of trying, I managed to get through to make a guess, and after saying what I thought the noise was, I heard the presenters screaming and shouting. I knew I must have guessed it correctly and once they confirmed this to be true I was gobsmacked. I will admit that I was so happy I did a little dance on my way to work!”

Elizabeth mentioned how she plans to use all of her prizes: “When you’re in London, it can be very tiring trying to get around and plans can often change due to unexpected delays with public transport, so this Kabbee credit is the perfect prize for me. With Kabbee, you can plan ahead by making a booking well in advance, which is very handy for me. I’ll also be using the credit to get home from those girly nights out in the city, safe and sound!”

15Jul

Anne ticks ‘top up Kabbee credit’ off her to do list

Anne Thompson

Anne Thomson

We all love a to-do-list, right?

At Kabbee, we’re such busy bees who love a good list, so we partnered with the London-based blog,’ To Do List’, to run a competition, to offer one lucky reader the chance to win £100 Kabbee credit.

Anne Thomson, from Hounslow, is the lucky lady, and when we say lucky, we mean it.  Love Game of Thrones?  Anne is only the official Games of Thrones trainee seamstress! OMB!

Anne was well chuffed with the credit, she said: “Oooh, lovely, I‘ll use some of the credit to get home from all the theatre trips I enjoy with my twin sister, and a bit when I’ve been out partying with my friends from the Royal Windsor roller derby team.  Brilliant.”

After being told she had won the credit, Anne told us how she celebrated:

“I was just checking my emails while brushing my teeth when I found out I had won the Kabbee credit, so I celebrate with a happy dance still brushing my teeth!

“I’m so excited to have won the credit, and will be using it after nights out, so no more night buses for me. The Kabbee app is great, it is so useful being able to get a minicab in a few clicks and knowing the cost before you get in!”

For your chance to win with Kabbee keep an eye on our social media to see what is coming up next!

18Jun

Kabbee Buzzing with Design Award Win – Meet Dan Baird, Head of Design

Dan

“And the winner of the Best Mobile or App Start-up in the 2014 UK Mobile & App Design Awards is……drumroll please……Kabbee!”

To celebrate winning this fantastic accolade, we caught up with the man of the moment, Kabbee’s Head of Design, Dan Baird, to find out what inspires his design genius….

What phone platform do you use, personally?

I’m an Apple fanboy so of course I have to be loyal and use my trusty iPhone.

What do you love most about the Kabbee brand / design?

I love that Kabbee is the one with a heart! We’re all about being a friend to our users, I think our brand perfectly reflects that idea. Kabbee is all about being fun, warm and accessible and I believe this comes across perfectly in our design – especially in contrast to some of our more techy and bland competitors.

Do you have a personal preference for the boy or girl bee?  What’s the girl’s name?

I like them both equally, that’s like asking a mother to choose a child! Our bees don’t yet have names but the Aussie in me wants to call them Bruce and Sheila.

How does it feel to win the best mobile app design award?

It’s fantastic! We work really hard to make sure our users can easily get a mighty minicab without worrying too much about the process, a big part of this is in our design philosophy so it’s great that’s being noticed. On a personal note, it’s always great to get recognition of hard work and makes it even more sweet considering the competition we were up against.

How many of your friends have you been able to recommend using the Free Cabs programme?

Well I only moved to the UK from Australia around 7 months ago so I don’t have a great deal of connections yet! However that hasn’t stopped me… It’s not uncommon for me to be seen waving Kabbee around in a pub or club telling people to use it for their journey home.

How often do you take a cab and what do use minicabs for most, work or pleasure?

Mostly to get home safely after a night out. I quite often get distracted and forget the tube closing times, I use Kabbee to make sure I get home safely, easily and cheaply.

What’s your second favourite app (after Kabbee…of course), and why?

I’m really into my music so it’s all about Spotify. I think they’ve nailed the design of their app and the experience across all the products is seamless, making it great for when I’m listening to tunes at work.

What song would make you ask your minicab driver to crank up the volume?

If you ask any of my colleagues they’ll say it’d be something by Britney Spears…. They’d actually be completely correct. Don’t judge me!

What’s the design work you are most proud of and why?

I was principle designer on the new landing page for all our apps and this is now being rolled out to the additional pages of our products. I’m incredibly proud of our new design and think the Kabbee booking process is so much smoother and easier now. Slick and sweet!

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