Imagine this: You are on crutches after an unfortunate accident. You book a Grab. It is raining heavily. Afraid of falling again on the slippery ground downstairs, you text the Grab driver to drive up to the third floor to get you. He replies, imposing an additional charge and accusing you of being unfair to him.
This was exactly what happened to TikTok user, Syaf (@nopenotsyaf):
Mixed Reactions from Netizens
As usual, anything controversial posted online will garner mixed responses from netizens. A significant group of netizens felt that the Grab driver was not only lacking in empathy but was also being unreasonable.
Some netizens even accused the driver of being overly concerned about money!
The comments have also sparked a robust discussion amongst netizens about the scope of responsibilities of a private hire driver. Many believe that a private hire driver is part of the service industry. Thus, they are expected to be civil and courteous, even if they cannot accede to the customer's request.
However, others were more practical. Their point of view was that the private hire drivers are only obligated to ferry customers from the pick up to the drop off point.
To set matters straight, we reached out to Grab Singapore to get to the bottom of this - Are Grab drivers allowed to ask for additional compensation in a situation like this?
Grab Singapore’s responded by stating that the additional compensation the driver had demanded was not warranted as the request to pick the customer up from level three was still within the same address.
An additional surcharge of $3 - $5 is only applicable when there is a change in pick-up or drop-off points. Most importantly, if drivers are unwilling to complete the job, they can cancel the booking.
There you have it, folks! In Syaf’s case, the driver was wrong to request additional compensation. If he was unwilling to drive up to Level 3 for whatever reason, he should have cancelled the booking.
Grab Singapore’s Code of Conduct for Drivers
It is also important to note that a clause in Grab Singapore’s comprehensive set of guidelines for its drivers states, “Overcharging by collecting a higher fare stated on the app or meter, entering a wrong surcharge, or setting your own fare, not in accordance with the rates in the Grab app.”
It is clear that in Syaf’s case, the driver in question had broken Grab Singapore’s code of conduct for drivers when he requested more money, on top of the agreed price of the trip according to the Grap app.
Grab Singapore has further responded by saying they have investigated this matter and actions have already been taken based on their internal guidelines.