Grab’s new policy irks M’sians


PETALING JAYA: Local rideshare users are up in arms over Grab Malaysia’s updated Passenger Can­cel­­lation Policy which goes into effect on March 25.

The policy, which states that passengers who cancel rides five minutes after getting a driver will be charged a fee ranging from RM3 to RM5, spurred much disapproval on social media yesterday.

Facebook user Khizar Khan asked the question on everyone’s mind, as evidenced by the hundreds of “likes” his comment garnered on The Star Online’s Facebook post: “Can Grab refund (the) RM5 to passengers if driver cancels or asks to cancel?”

Christopher Chong asked how such a policy would work: “Usually (when) I book I don’t cancel, but (the) driver chooses not to pick (me) up and (would) purposely not reach their destination, expecting (the) customer to do the cancellation. I was wondering why the driver kept turning round and round ... The idea behind it is that he wants me to cancel the booking. I have gone through such a situation.”

Radhia Rasul wondered about the situation when drivers refuse to cancel a booking and instead force passengers to do so: “Will (the) passengers get paid double?”

While the company has issued an assurance that it has measures in place to detect if a driver is not moving towards the customer, not many were convinced.

Bertrand Raphael Parrikal said he is unsure if said statement is true, as some drivers state on the app that they have arrived, but are at the wrong pick up location: “So the time starts early. Although often times this is because the maps system is faulty on the drivers’ end. So Grab has to fix this first.”

Jeffrey Lim questioned if users could report this to the Industrial Tribunal as a form of unfair practice: “Unless Grab also pays us compensation for driver cancellations and late pickups, and also for (the) app’s errors!!”

However, as both a rideshare driver and a rider, Derick Lee said there’s no right or wrong for both parties in this case.

“What I can say is, both sides need (to have) more communication. Either (the) rider or driver can make a call to each other to confirm the exact location of (the) driver to the pickup location ... It’s only good if (the) company can think for both parties before implementing things,” he said.

SJ Teoh also felt it was fair to both sides: “Passenger will lose money and driver will lose job(s) for cancelling many times.”

With the new policy, passengers will not be charged if they cancel within five minutes of getting a driver.

Drivers are also required to wait for five minutes or three minutes if they are performing GrabShare services before they are entitled to charge a cancellation fee.

The company added that the cancellation fee will be waived if a driver does not arrive within 10 minutes after the first-shown estimated time of arrival.