From the moment I first downloaded Hailo back in 2014, I was in love.
It saved me when I was running late for work, when I was caught in the rain or had to get home after a night out.
I’m not the most organised person and knowing it was there when I needed it was always such a relief.
But then a terrible thing happened.
Last year, Hailo was absorbed by a German company called mytaxi to create the biggest e-hailing operator in Europe.
“This is good news”, they said.
“You’ll be able to hail cabs in more than 50 cities across nine countries now, how cool is that?”
Well, you might be able to hail a cab in Stuttgart, but you certainly can’t hail one here, because mytaxi is a major disappointment.
I resisted downloading it for as long as possible, ignoring the annoying prompts and pop ups. Eventually though, I was forced to switch over.
Things immediately took a turn for the worse. I can’t count how many minutes I’ve wasted staring at that useless app as it searched for taxis that never came.
When I finally managed to hail one, half the time it sent the driver to the wrong place. Sometimes it hailed me cabs that were on the other side of the city on different jobs.
The drivers weren’t happy either, with almost every one I met complaining about the change.
Some of those glitches were ironed out but recently the app has taken another major dip in my estimation.
They introduced a €2 booking fee in September, making what was already a bit of a luxury even dearer.
Now we’re into the busy Christmas season it’s practically impossible to get a taxi when you need one, and you’re left in the purgatory that is this:
I’m looking forward to trying the new taxi app, Whistle, but in the past few weeks I’ve been calling a company or hailing off the street.
That’s not easy either, though – the number of taxi drivers in Ireland has dropped by a massive 45% since 2009, and the number of times I’ve had to walk home in heels after a few drinks will attest to that.
My blisters will heal, but not my broken heart.
I miss you Hailo – please come back.