Grab drivers’ income sees RM6m loss on late cancellations

The e-hailing giant says penalties will be waived for 1st-time offenders


Grab Malaysia has defended its new cancellation and “no-show” policy as to prevent abuse on the platform since its drivers lost RM6 million in income due to the offences last year.

The e-hailing giant said it is confident that the majority of Grab users will not be affected by this policy, as the penalties are targeted at a minor 0.5% of its current user base who have been committing these offences across the country.

Grab head of operations Rashid Shukor told The Malaysian Reserve (TMR) that the highest number of cancellations and no-shows take place in the Klang Valley every day.

“In 2018, our data showed the loss of income for drivers specifically from late cancelling and not showing up stood at RM6 million — that is a substantial amount for the industry,” he told TMR recently.

Rashid said even though it affects a small percentage of users, it is important to curb it now rather than wait for it to become a bigger problem for all stakeholders.

“We know it is a small percentage, but we want to be proactive in this situation. We are reassuring our customers that only those who do these things on purpose will face these penalties.

“Users not showing up is a bigger issue than people cancelling. To drivers, every minute is a chance for them to earn money, so it isn’t fair on them.

“They have used their time and fuel to pick a customer up and we are trying to be fair to all parties,” he said.

According to Rashid, both penalties will be waived for first-time offenders and even after that, users can report to Grab if necessary, if they feel they have been charged unfair penalties.

“We understand that emergencies may occur and it cannot be helped. If you cancel and there is a valid reason, we have a team in place who will look into it and reimburse you,” he said.

Rashid said the policy implementation will begin on March 25, 2019, for rides in the Klang Valley and will be implemented across Malaysia on March 27, 2019.

For now, both Singapore and Malaysia will see this new policy being rolled out, while the other six markets will be done in phases.

“It is in the pipeline, but there is no set time frame yet. Each market is very unique and they all look at different areas that need change or a restructure,” Rashid added. Meanwhile, Rashid said despite the public’s criticism on the penalty for passengers, Grab has always been very strict with its driver-partners. He said Grab has stringent measures put in place to deter drivers from cancelling or not showing up to pick up their passengers.

“In the more serious cases, we suspend them or completely ban them from our platform. And we have done that before. It depends on the severity of the case, of course,” Rashid said.

He said suspension can be anywhere from 30 minutes, to an entire day — proving to be a substantial loss of income for them.

“Often, a reoccurring offence will cause a driver to be banned. If so, we are in contact with them and we never do anything without notifying them first,” he said.

He added that feedback from users is vital for Grab to be informed on its driverpartners or any issues that may occur during a ride.

“We’ve seen people going on social media to complain, but haven’t written to us. We wish they would, so we can take action and improve,” he said.

Rashid added that the technology and algorithms used to track its drivers and rides are very accurate and precise, and are often upgraded to reflect the latest technology.

He said there are many layers to protecting both drivers and users, as they aim to strike a good balance.

“Ultimately, our twin goals are to provide safe, reliable and affordable transport, while helping people earn an income.

“We believe the best way to maintain affordable fares is to protect our hardworking drivers’ livelihood against unfair abuse,” he said.