PETALING JAYA: E-hailing operator Grab will be refunding any excess commission levied upon its drivers after some of them protested that the company has been taking more than 20% in commission, the maximum allowed by the government.
In a memo sighted by The Star and addressed by Grab to drivers, it is understood that refunds will be made on Aug 5.
“To comply with regulations, we will reimburse the 5% manual-accept fee for all non-auto-accept jobs completed after July 11.
“We will make this reimbursement on Aug 5,” the memo stated.
The largest e-hailing company also clarified the reason why a 5% fee was charged on drivers who opted to manually accept a ride order earlier.
“Almost 20% of the driver-partners choose to manually accept their rides. Therefore, a fee of 5% was introduced to safeguard and compensate other driver-partners each time a ride was ignored or cancelled.
“That is important to reduce unexpected situations and maintain the balance in supply and demand as we serve the daily commuting needs of everyone,” said a spokesman when contacted.
To ensure fairness for all, the spokesman added that Grab would reimburse the 5% fee to the driver-partners who had previously chose to manually accept jobs through the app after July 11.
“This means that all driver-partners will now be required to auto accept rides.”
Earlier on, the Malaysian E-hailing Drivers Association (Mehda) president Daryl Chong said that many of its members and non-members wanted the Transport Ministry to intervene in what it called an unfair arrangement.
Under the new regulations for the e-hailing industry that came into effect on July 12, an e-hailing operator cannot collect more than 20% from fares paid to drivers.
On the same day, Minister Anthony Loke also warned operators against collecting more than the maximum allowed by disguising the cuts using different terms.
“We know they are trying to beat the system by not calling it (the extra charges) a commission, but by calling it a fee, a charge and all that.
This is not allowed,” Loke said, adding that any violation would see action taken against the operator.
MCA Civil Society Coordination Bureau chief Ng Kian Nam, howآever, questioned Grab’s move in doing away with the option for drivers to choose their rides, likening it to “cutting the feet to fit the shoes.”
“This is a violation to the drivers’ rights and freedom at work,” he said, adding that operators should stop taking advantage of drivers.