[Update: 12 March 2019, 10.50am]
Grab’s updated cancellation policy has been postponed to begin on 25 March, Monday, instead.
According to TODAY, the move was “delayed” so passengers have “‘sufficient time’ to adjust”.
When it was announced on Sunday, some riders were “vexed” saying that it was “unfair” because some drivers will accept the ride but then won’t arrive at the right pick-up point.
Clarifying the reason for the delay, Grab told TODAY that it is not because of the public backlash; they noticed that riders were confused and wanted to “give them more time” to better understand it.
Grab reassured that passengers will not be charged for cancelling on a ride that took a much longer time to arrive at the pick-up point than stated.
The updated policy “was long overdue”, drivers told TODAY, and that it would deter riders who use multiple ride-hailing apps and then don’t cancel those that they don’t need.
In an effort to make cancellations fairer to everyone, Grab will be imposing a $4 cancellation fee on users if they cancel a private-hire ride five minutes after getting a booking from 11 March.
Users will be charged the $4 fee if they cancel more than three minutes after getting a GrabShare, Grab’s ride-sharing option.
Grab currently charges users $5 if they cancel a ride for the third time in one week, and for GrabShare users who managed to get a ride, there’s a three-minute grace period for them to cancel.
If the Grab ride arrives more than five minutes after its estimated arrival time, users can cancel without getting charged.
With this cancellation policy, passengers will be charged $4 for no-show, and drivers can cancel freely on passengers who take more than five minutes to show up for their Grab ride, or three minutes for GrabShare.
Grab said that standard additional waiting time surcharges apply if their driver decides to wait for passenger beyond these stipulated times.
The company clarified that passengers can only be charged either for a no-show or a late cancellation fee, and not both.
These charges are deducted directly from the passenger’s GrabPay credits or credit or debit card.
For passengers who choose the cash option, fares will reflect the additional charges in their next ride and the driver will be informed to collect it on Grab’s behalf.
The cancellation policy update is to ensure fair compensation for drivers and to better accommodate passengers who might need more time to show up or decide if they want the ride.
Drivers get 100% of the fees.
Grab expects this update to “affect less than 1 per cent of [their] bookings” since majority of passengers don’t cancel.
In response to Channel NewsAsia’s queries, Grab encourages their users to communicate with their drivers if there’s a delay, which could be caused by a missed turn or traffic jam.
If passengers feel that they have been unfairly or incorrectly charged, they are recommended to report it via Grab’s in-app help center.
Featured Image Credit: Vulcan Post