A decision by popular taxi-hailing app Beat to remove the ability to select a driver was slammed by users who wrote thousands of messages to the company in protest, arguing that it was one of the main elements that had distinguished it from a regular taxi company.
The change was not announced to the app's users who discovered that Beat's settings had simply changed.
“The selection of the driver gave us a sense of security when our children were using them,” Maria S., mother of two teenagers, wrote in a message, adding that she does not feel safe not having the name of the driver.
“I have a dog and for me it was important to know if the driver I select accepts pets in the car,” said a user named Katerina.
The complaints were added to those that had already been raised over problems with the operation of the application. Alexandros P. said Beat had failed twice to inform him that his driver had cancelled the route.
Beat CEO and company co-founder Nikos Drandakis told Kathimerini the change is a sign or readiness to change. “Removing the drivers' list is directly related to how we see and how we face the future of our services,” he told the paper.
“Platforms must ensure that they give the customer what they need, as quickly as possible. Also, the user should make the least effort possible without being asked to choose between different functions in one application,” he continued, claiming that the selection of a driver was time-consuming for both the client and the driver.
Beat was set up in 2011 under the name Taxibeat by Nikos Drandakis and Nikos Damilakis. It charges no booking fees, the user can choose to pay cash or card and can rate the driver after the trip is over.
The company was acquired by MyTaxi, a subsidiary of Daimler Group, in 2017.