Grab passengers lament poor service, drivers bemoan faulty system
When a woman aired her grievance on poor customer service to a Grab driver, she discovered that passengers aren’t alone in being inconvenienced by the ride-hailing platform, as drivers also have their own share of complaints.
It all started when Reddit user sabinijo detailed her frustrating experience in booking a ride through the Grab app last Monday, April 16.
Despite the driver being only two minutes away, the car wasn’t budging to pick her up. Eventually, she booked through her sister’s app and was able to get a ride.
She still hadn’t cancelled the first booking and in the vehicle, she asked the driver if there was something wrong with the app.
“Lagi naman nagloloko si Grab (Grab always messes up),” replied the driver who used to work with Uber. “Mas maayos Uber (Uber is more organized).”
When she recounted that her first driver did not move from his spot despite trying to contact him, she was told not to cancel the ride.
“Ay naku Ma’am, beterano yan! Naghihintay yan na kayo mag-cancel! Wag n’yong i-cancel Ma’am, bayaan nyo sya. Strikto Grab sa mga nagka-cancel,” was the driver’s advice.
(Ma’am, he’s a veteran! He’s waiting for you to cancel! Don’t cancel it Ma’am, let him be. Grab is strict about those who cancel.)
Finally, after more than 30 minutes, she noticed the car moving and that the ride had been cancelled.
“Buti nga sa kanya! Maghapon nya nang babawiin yung rating nya; madaming ganyan na beterano na nananamantala!” noted the driver.
(Good for him! He’ll have to recover his rating the whole afternoon; there are many veterans who take advantage.)
In an INQUIRER report, Brian Cu, country head of Grab Philippines, said that the system can detect if a driver is stalling to cancel a trip. He explained that after an investigation, offending drivers face suspension or removal from the platform.
The driver had his own troubles to share on what made working with the platform difficult. According to him, “incentives are lower” and “riders are harder to find” compared to his stint with Uber.
He said before picking her up, it took him 15 minutes to get a passenger. He attributes this to people’s lack of interest in Grab’s service. He also cited that for him, the app is problematic as it takes a longer time to load the fare.
Money woes plague him, said the driver: “Grab takes a bigger cut, and he has to constantly make sure his G-cash has credit because Grab immediately gets its take and if he runs out of credit, he can’t get riders.”
Angelica (full name withheld upon request), a 23-year-old who works for a local media outlet, tells INQUIRER.net a driver told her that compensation was an issue for them.
During her April 17 ride, she was told that Grab promos, which can deduct about P40 to P60 a ride, are not shouldered by the company. Like the previous driver, he felt that Grab takes too high a percentage. Despite customer complaints that the ride service is too pricey, he felt that they weren’t charging enough.
He also preferred to be paid in cash rather than card “so he can actually keep some of his earnings.” The company allegedly owes him P17,000 of his cut.
And if customers feel neglected by the company’s customer support, so do drivers. He has experienced “unruly customers who don’t pay” but was not assisted by Grab on the matter. Earlier that day, his passengers did not pay the exact amount and he felt it futile to report it because “Grab barely responds.”
Riders prefer Uber
On the Reddit thread, users of both Uber and Grab said they had also experienced the hassle of forced cancellations.
However, some said they still preferred Uber’s service, despite the app shutting down this week.
“Uber has a better quality of drivers IMO (in my opinion), payment is quicker and I don’t have to pay for the toll (bring out cash),” said ygipaez.
For baconcheesus, the best Grab drivers were former Uber drivers. “Sila yung matitino (They’re the decent ones).”
Prodigaldaughterph observed that Grab only responded when a complaint was posted on social media.
The original Reddit poster, sabinijo, said the customer support of both ride-hailing apps was disappointing but her issues with Uber were always resolved with refunds. She has since deleted the Grab app from her phone but has kept Uber’s in the event of “some miracle of sorts.”
Angelica says she’ll keep using the service because there is “no other option when the car I drive is coding.”
She adds, “But I’ve been trying to ride the bus as an alternative since I don’t trust the MRT.” JB
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