If you book with a large network they will take the booking, Taxi drivers are responsible for accepting the booking when it is put out by the network. Because by nature taxi drivers in general dont think like business people they take the hunter view If it is a short fare they are not prepared to leave the time available for them to travel to the job as they may be on the other side of town and pick up another passenger. The networks then seem to think that only a local taxi driver will take the job and so in their good sense they send the booking out maybe fifteen minutes before you need a taxi, al beit they had the booking for a week or a month or a year. If its a busy time or a short fare your chances of getting a cab unless its by your door are like zero. I dont do that . I will confirm your booking or if we cannot do the job at the time you want I will tell you and refer you to someone else. We dont take jobs that we cannot cover. You also get to speak to the person doing your job, Not a machine or a radio operator.