Long-standing competition between Apple Taxis and Exe Cars was heightened this week, as a misjudged advertising ploy forced Trading Standards to get involved.
A now defunct website appeared last week appearing to advertise a fictitious taxi firm named ‘Exe Cabs’. The website displayed a logo similar to that of Exe Cars, yet directed users to Apple Taxi’s phone number. Following a complaint from Exe Cars to Devon County Council’s Trading Standards department, the website was removed.
Whilst Exe Cars have been satisfied with the action taken by the Trading Standards department, the row has confused them. “We don’t know why Apple Taxis have it in for us.” Exe Cars told Exeposé: “They’re a far bigger taxi company and we are of no real threat to them. (Yet).”
Exe Cars reported they were unhappy with the Express and Echo’s description of the feud as “tit-for tat”, emphasising their desire to avoid conflict. “We have no ill will towards Apple Taxis, we won’t get sucked into such childish and unprofessional behaviour.”
When questioned about the website, General Manager of Apple Taxi’s, Steve Screech, told the Exeter Express and Echo that: “It’s something that was mocked up in jest and it shouldn’t have gone live.”
Apple have publicly shrugged off the incident, with their Facebook page reporting that “ANY PUBLICITY IS GOOD PUBLICITY!” Adding, “Many thanks to one of our competitors for the free on-line advertising with the local newspaper – it would have cost us a fortune to get our logo posted like this!”
Apple Taxis recently announced they were the official transport partner for Radio 1’s Big Weekend, charging between up to £72 to take customers between Exeter and Powderham on the Saturday and Sunday. As the largest taxi fleet in Exeter and the University’s approved supplier, Apple receives a considerable proportion of student business. Yet with Exe Cars recently becoming an authorised taxi provider for the University and alternative firms such as Jack the Hat proving popular amongst students, competition over transport in the city has spiked.
Exeposé approached Apple Taxis regarding the dispute, but they declined to comment.