What The New Grab Cancellation Fee Really Means, And Why You Shouldn’t Worry
Grab announced that it will be implementing a new cancellation fee policy from March 25 2019. Needless to say, Malaysians are less than pleased at the news.
Social media began buzzing with complaints about driver behaviour and questions as to why passengers are being penalised with additional fees. After all, it’s not like the drivers are being punished for cancelling trips or failing to turn up.
The biggest concern surrounds drivers that decided against picking up a customer, and simply drive around in circles. Ultimately forcing the customer to cancel the ride request and try again.
Under the new policy, this looks like it would end up costing the customer both time and money. But here’s the truth, it doesn’t.
What does the policy say?
First of all, it’s helpful to outline what fees are involved with this new policy.
All of these fees apply if the request is cancelled after five minutes of getting a driver, or if the driver cancels the trip after waiting more than five minutes at the pickup destination.
The entire fee also goes to the driver as compensation for making the attempt the pick up a passenger. A policy that is pretty fair, considering that the driver has already sunk some cost into trying to make the trip happen.
A small but important detail in this new policy
Most people are already aware of the above information. The recent news reports and articles about Grab has flooded social media, leading to speculation and concerns among Grab users.
However, there is a small detail that prevents this policy from being too harsh on customers. This clause was unfortunately buried between two screenshots on Grab’s blog announcement, which may have caused some to overlook it.
Cancellation fees will be waived if your driver does not arrive within 10 minutes after the first-shown estimated time of arrival. For example, if you are allocated a driver who is 3 minutes away, but you’ve waited for more than 13 minutes (i.e. 3 mins + 10 mins), your cancellation will be free.
What this shows is that there is no penalty if you’re facing one of those drivers that tries to force people to cancel their rides. All you need to do is be aware of how much time has passed and then cancel without worrying about facing additional fees.
The policy also has additional safeguards against problematic drivers. For instance, drivers must wait at leave five minutes after arriving at the destination. Failing to wait prevents any penalties from being imposed on the customer.
Grab also points out that it is capable of tracking drivers, which prevents them from claiming that they have arrived at the destination and waited the required amount of time. The GPS tracking ensures that both driver and passenger are within the same vicinity in order to for the passenger to be penalised for not showing up.
No need to worry
There has always been a cancellation fee paid to drivers. Until March 25, the cost was borne by Grab itself. All that’s happened here is that the penalties are now being passed directly on to customers.
Naturally, there is some concern about Grab pushing this on to consumers; especially for those who end up being penalised for having legitimate reasons for cancelling their requests.
However, the clauses in this new policy appears to have taken into consideration the possibility of customers being abused by one-star rated drivers. At the very least, it allows some room for customers to change their minds about calling for a Grab.
The matter of dealing with fickle drivers that suddenly refuse to pick people up is another matter. However, this issue isn’t likely to be solved with the new cancellation policy.