It’s Elad again. Remember me from the Bird blog post?
As a Tel-Avivian, I’m always on top of new mobility services, or anything that could take me from point A to point B without moving my car from its precious parking spot. So, when I heard that Yango decided to launch here in Israel, I thought I must check it out. In this article, I’m going to tell you about Yango vs. Gett, who offers the best ride-hailing service in Tel-Aviv and trust me, I have a clear winner, a total knockout.
A brief introduction: Yango is a taxi-on-demand, ride-hailing service (or taxi-on-demand, however you call it) by Russian multinational corporate Yandex, Russia’s version of Google. The service launched in 2011 and operates in 15 countries. The latest country they expanded to was Israel, in December 2018, and the company made sure everyone would know about its arrival. Seriously, I’m not sure there’s a human being who lives in Israel (and abroad, actually) that missed one of Yango’s campaigns on malls, billboards, ads in applications, news and anywhere else. They spent A LOT of time, effort and money on letting you know that Yango is here.
Although I’m an active and devoted Gett (aka Gett Taxi) user, I had to see what’s up with this new player that landed in Israel. Not just to write about it, but to really understand what the major difficulties for mobility companies in Israel are, some of them thanks to the Ministry of Transportation (still angry about Uber) and to see how the competition in this industry is doing. Why is it important for me to mention that I’m a loyal Gett user? Because now, Yango, needs to profoundly impress me, enough that I will give up on my 4,785 points and my ‘master’ level. Don’t get me wrong, I use Gett, but it’s nowhere close to perfect – Yango has a real opportunity here to overtake its almost sole competitor in Israel. Gett leaves much to be desired when it comes to availability, price, customer service, and loyalty. As for the other “competitors”: no one uses Raxi, Rider R.I.P, and Uber is not working as Uber should.
Friday has arrived, and I thought it would be a good time to test out Yango and kill two birds with one stone: Check the UI/X and the weekend availability. Download has begun. I was excited like a child opening my Christmas presents. Download complete. Well… the excitement has left the building.
I didn’t understand anything that happened from the minute I opened the app. Did I sign up already? Do I need to buy credit? Do I need to put in my credit card? What is going on here and how the hell do I order a taxi? After a minute of confusion, I got a new screen with sort of a map and then I saw the next sentence: “No cars available.” Are you serious?
I live in Tel Aviv, I mean, right in the middle of Tel Aviv near Dizengoff Center, where Yango’s pilot is currently running. You want to tell me that they spent millions of dollars on advertising but forgot one crucial thing – recruiting drivers?
After I calmed down a bit, I gave up and ordered a Gett. The next week, I tried Yango again, and unsurprisingly received the same message (the lack of taxis one). I tried again in Kfar Saba (another central Israeli city), but still, not working. Well, I thought to myself, maybe this is just a temporary bug, and it wouldn’t be fair to Yango if I wrote a bad review about the company without riding one of their taxis.
So, fast forward two weeks – I needed a taxi — what an excellent opportunity to give Yango a (fourth) chance. Well, guess what? Same error. Come on, I know I don’t have an iPhone XS Max, but I have a well-functioning iPhone 7+, not an ancient Nokia 3310. This should work!
So, I have two essential messages to Yango:
- I know your service is new in Israel, and you might haven’t got the chance to recruit enough drivers yet, but you should have done this BEFORE you began your aggressive marketing campaign.
- I didn’t delete the app (yet) because it’s important for me to test it, but any other user who had / will have this experience will likely delete your app and head back to Gett.
So, Yango vs. Gett? Well, after my experience, or lack thereof, with Yango, Gett is the definite winner. At least they have available taxis.
However, Gett, before you start popping champagnes, let me say that your service isn’t perfect either. Here are a few things you can work on in the meantime:
- Weekend Availability – You can forget about taxis on the weekends. I mean, I’m sure there are a few drivers that do work, but in general, it’s more like “The Hunger Games.” Honestly, I can understand why the drivers don’t want to work with Gett in Tel Aviv during the weekends, but still, it’s Gett’s problem, so they need to give the drivers more incentives to do so. As an end-user, I don’t care about your inside wars with the drivers.
- User Retention – Remember the points I collected along with my title? (Master, 4785 points, beat that) Well, it doesn’t have any meaning. I’ve never received anything in the form of a gift or discount by being a loyal user, and it sucks. It’s just a title I can brag about in blog posts. The only thing I did get sometimes is a message saying “Thank you for being a loyal user, you’ve just been upgraded and got a premium driver.” Gee thanks, so helpful.
- Driver’s Attitude – Not to blame it on every driver, but some drivers cancel rides if the destination is too close and the ride might be too cheap and “not worth their time.” In some cities, there are barely any active Gett drivers, so when the one and only driver available cancels, it’s a pain the ass (and the legs, because you better start walking).
The good things you need to keep:
- Design & UI – Nice and simple, as on-demand apps should be. Open the app, press a button and voilà, the taxi is on its way (most of the time).
- Review and rating – I like it. It’s very important that you can rate the driver as well as the passenger, and the emphasis Gett puts on it works great for everyone.
- Information about the driver – Wow. I love this feature. First, displaying the driver’s hobbies is wonderful for sharing on social media and going viral. Second, I love when Gett lets me know that the driver is celebrating his (or her) birthday today. I sang “happy birthday” to about 4 or 5 of them. Amazing.
So, except for working on my singing skills, I didn’t get much from Gett, but still, they don’t have any (meaningful) competitors here yet, which is a HUGE advantage for Yango. I hope they will use it wisely. The market is still open for more and more ride-hailing services in Tel-Aviv and Israel, to join and maybe to bring some more added value to the mobility market, to their drivers, and their customers.
See you next post,
(Hint: It will be about two companies, one rhymes with time and the other rhymes with fiend)