'Complete BS': Netizens protest against Grab cutting grace period from 5 to 3 minutes

'Complete BS': Netizens protest against Grab cutting grace period from 5 to 3 minutes
On July 11, Grab sent a notification to users informing them that the grace period for rides would be reduced from five to three minutes.
PHOTO: Screengrab/Grab

As the saying goes, time is money, and this seems to ring especially true for ride-hailing app Grab which has announced some new measures to save drivers' time — albeit at the expense of users.  

On Monday (July 11), the company announced via an app notification that it would reduce the waiting grace period from the current five minutes to three. 

This means that passengers who keep their driver waiting for more than three minutes will automatically incur an additional $3 charge on top of their fare. 

The shortened waiting time will apply to the JustGrab, GrabCar, GrabCar Plus, GrabCar Premium, GrabPet, and GrabFamily services.

In addition, the cancellation period for accepted bookings will also be reduced from five minutes to three minutes, after which users will have to pay a $4 cancellation fee.

The announcement did not sit well with Reddit users, who pointed out that the company should fix some loopholes before implementing the shortened grace period.

One Reddit user shared that he has had drivers indicating they've arrived at the pick-up point before actually reaching it, while another mentioned the possibility of drivers going to the wrong pick-up point. 

"Otherwise this is complete BS," the user wrote.

Another Reddit user asked about customer waiting time and what if the Grab driver is not on time.

In the same thread, other Redditors remarked that they would stop using Grab's services immediately. 

One user wanted to "boycott grab", while another asked fellow Redditors for "taxi app alternatives". 

In its response to Today, a spokesperson for Grab said that the policy change is "timely", explaining that 94 per cent of their rides already see passengers at their pick-up points within three minutes of their drivers arriving.

The company added that the move was to help their "driver-partners capture new demand trends by spending time on the roads more productively" as the country opens up and the number of ride bookings increases. 

"It will also help reduce fuel wastage caused by idling engines, which has become more of a pain point for our driver-partners with the rising cost of fuel," the company said. 

The spokesperson also mentioned that Grab will be refining its controls on its backend so that drivers can only indicate they have arrived at the pick-up point once they have reached, or are very close to it. 

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