Grab plans to impose fee on riders who cancel trips

MANILA, Philippines – Ride-hailing company Grab Philippines is planning to impose a fee on riders for trip cancellations.

In a media briefing on Tuesday, May 8, Grab Philippines marketing head Cindy Toh said there are ongoing discussions to roll out the feature in a few months.

"Grab is eyeing to impose a cancellation fee – our target [is] that this will be done within the [next] 100 days," Toh said.

According to Toh, riders are more likely to cancel their bookings than drivers. Data showed that passengers cancel 12% of their rides, while drivers cancel 8% of their bookings.

Imposing a cancellation fee is seen as a solution – a feature that Uber used to have.

But Grab has yet to determine how much the fee will be, and how to roll out the feature for trips paid with cash.

"For sure, we can implement it for credit card users. The challenge we encounter is for riders paying in cash," Toh said.

She added that Grab will soon issue new receipts which will indicate the fare breakdown of every trip.

"On the new receipt, you should be able to see the surge rate and the base fare, how many kilometers ang travel mo (your travel was). That is already a work in progress," Toh said.

PBA Representative Jericho Nograles had accused Grab of charging an additional P2 per minute on top of its government-approved scheme. He pointed out that Grab's receipts do not show the trip's fare breakdown.

The charge has since been suspended by the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB). (READ: Did Grab 'illegally' charge its riders higher fare?)

Better service

Grab is at the center of controversy over its drivers' behavior, with Filipinos complaining of "poor service" after it bought Uber's Southeast Asia operations.

Toh said they are committed to improving customer experience by updating their drivers' code of conduct, as well as implementing a new set of guidelines for passenger behavior.

"We impose a maximum cancellation of one per day for our drivers. From our current driver cancellation of 8%, we should be able to reduce that by half or 4%," Toh said.

Grab will also expand its driver academy, which will include modules on road courtesy, customer service, and data privacy. Performance incentives will also be enhanced and a driver rewards program will be in place.

Toh said all these will be done within their 100-day campaign. (READ: Updated Grab interface to have faster help center access, new SOS button)

Grab earlier said it has an "undersupply" of vehicles to meet passenger demand, with only 35,000 drivers available for 600,000 bookings made per day.

Currently, Grab is the only operating ride-hailing company. The LTFRB recently accredited 5 transport network companies set to challenge Grab. – Rappler.com

Aika Rey

Aika Rey is a business reporter for Rappler. She covered the Senate of the Philippines before fully diving into numbers and companies. Got tips? Find her on Twitter at @reyaika or shoot her an email at aika.rey@rappler.com.

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