EditorialsYoda Advice

Uber and Grab Drivers Are Acting Like Their Cabbie Counterparts

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Uber and Grab have been a godsend for commuters conveniently looking for comfortable rides and have grown tired of hailing cabs, only to be turned down by drivers due to heavy traffic in the direction you’re going or a host of other reasons they might not want to take you. Despite reports of incidents that concern drivers from these popular apps, we generally feel that they’re still one of the safest ways to get around the mostly clogged streets of Metro Manila and usually recommend it to our friends or family members if they find themselves without their personal rides. However, we’ve been hearing more and more stories about driver behavior from both companies changing ever since people have been making a business out of the service. The most recent complaint we’ve heard is that some Uber and Grab drivers have been getting a little picky and now get riders to cancel trips because they don’t want to cancel it themselves and take a penalty for doing so.

To those of you who may not be aware, when you don’t cancel your ride within 5 minutes — Uber charges you Php 100 as a cancellation fee. Grab does the same thing, but instead of charging you and if you cancel too frequently, they suspend your account. Drivers also get penalized for cancelling on their riders as well; as to what their penalties are, we’ll have to ask our contacts in Uber and Grab. So, what do these drivers do if they suddenly feel like you’re not worth the trip? They pretend to get lost or circle the block a few times and outright refuse to pick up their phones when called, forcing you to cancel the trip and getting charged the cancellation fee. This is something we personally experienced last night when we booked a ride on Uber.

Our driver circle SM Makati twice before eventually getting on EDSA
Our driver circled SM Makati twice before eventually getting on EDSA

Thankfully, Uber seems to be quick to reverse charges and reprimand drivers who pull this and other stunts (such as: not ending the trip when you’ve alighted from their vehicle) once they’ve reviewed the complaint. This new MO, however, is one of the things that made taking cabs such a pain in the butt in the first place — Picky drivers. We should all continue to report issues like this to keep drivers accountable for their actions and make the ride home after work a pleasant one. After all, the last thing you need after a long, tiring day is an Uber or Grab driver pulling your chain.

Why are Grab and Uber drivers getting picky like their cabbie counterparts? Well, we talked to an Uber driver about these incidents and he said that they’re becoming more common as of late, as more and more former taxi drivers are being hired as Uber drivers. As the old saying goes: “Old habits die hard”.

Got an Uber or Grab horror story to share? Leave it in the comment section.

Jamie Inocian

A self-confessed geek. Jamie started out helping out on the Unbox Podcast and became the Digital Sales Manager when he joined the team full time. He has since then transitioned into one of our Senior Editors and Head Video Producer.

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14 Comments

    1. I agree with you on this issue. Grab Customer Service never responds to inquiries or concerns from their customers.

  1. I use both apps and in my experience, Grab drivers are more prone to this sort of behavior. Grab is also much slower responding to contains and concerns compared to Uber’s quick resolution of issues.

  2. How do you know they’re pretending to go around? They might really be lost. Some riders doesn’t even know how to properly pin on the map, so when the drivers reach the said location there’s no one there and sometimes it’s too long and too far that there’s no choice but to cancel. One of the things that makes drivers cancel though is if the destination is too far and there’s small chance of getting riders there.

    1. How do you know they’re pretending to go around? They might really be lost.

      – Riders can see the driver’s location in a map. If you are really lost, it’s but proper for you to call the rider & probably ask assistance on the direction. The good drivers normally calls the rider to ask if he/she is willing to wait & confirms the location of the pick-up point.

      One of the things that makes drivers cancel though is if the destination is too far and there’s small chance of getting riders there.

      – By stating this, you are actually describing the attitude of a taxi driver that the public despise.

  3. When we arrived at NAIA T3 around 1PM, we requested GrabCar with 150pesos promo code going to Mckinley Hill that has set cost of 175pesos. Luckily, a driver (I forgot the name e.g. Mr Santos) accepted our request and after a few seconds, he eventually wants us to cancel our trip because according to him, he had a flat tire. OK, understood. Then we request another (same with previously requested), Mr Santos AGAIN accepted our trip and AGAIN wants us to cancel with the same reason(flat tire). Well, why he would accept AGAIN our request and will only reject AGAIN?!?!?. It was a dismay because he is not committed to do the service and wasting our time. It looks like that he is picky and seems like that he does not want our trip because of the 150pesos promo code!!! I already reported this to Grab but no action was received from Grab.. I feel that this really happens with other riders.

    1. Yup, so obviously hindi totoong may flat tire sya kase if so, nag “log out” muna sya dapat sa system para walang pumasok na request from riders. Nagkataon sya pa din ang napili ng automated system LOL

  4. Summary: uber and grab should not hire former taxi drivers. Tama ang article gumagawa sila ng palusot pag ayaw nila ng ruta at sila ang dapat na mapenalize sa cancellation. Sinisira nila ang image ng matitinong uber drivers.

  5. Grab drivers are notorious for these kinds of behavior. They either don’t accept the booking or they cancel after they find out where you’re headed. Uber drivers rarely do this because they can’t see your destination until they start the trip and you’re already onboard.

    For Grab riders, NEVER CANCEL THE BOOKING WHEN THEY ASK YOU TO. Let them do it themselves so you won’t be penalized. It may take them a few minutes to do so, but they don’t have a choice because they can’t accept other requests until they cancel the one they’re screwing over.

  6. Both UBER and GRAB are very very masahol pa sa taxi pagdating sa pagpatong sa presyo (SURGE pricing) imagine konting ulan pag nasa Makati or sa nasa mall area almost 3X agad ang singil is that reasonable?????I hope this will correct its not FAIR!

    1. then use a cab. convenience comes at a cost, so if you’re not willing to pay, get a bus, a jeep, a tricycle or a regular cab.

  7. I’ve had mostly good experiences with Grab drivers. But there were two drivers who really made a name for themselves.

    Scenario 1: We’re at a hospital in Manila on our way to Caloocan. My brother booked a six seater ’cause we had a wheelchair with us, even though we’re only three passengers all in all. The driver called to ask how many are we. When my brother said that we’re actually just three, and mentioned the wheelchair, suddenly, the driver said that he’d to ask his operator first ’cause supposedly, he’s off to fetch someone in about an hour. After going off the line, the driver called back to “confirm” that as per his operator, he can’t accept the booking and was telling us to just cancel. Since I remember having a conversation with a Grab driver before about the nature of ride cancellations, I said to my brother (who’s been the one talking with the driver) to let him cancel ’cause he’s the one who has a reason not to go through with the booking. So what we did was we booked another ride using my phone, and waited for the first driver to cancel on his own. Which eventually, he did, but only after about 15mins!

  8. Scenario 2: I waited for my daughter in school ’cause they’d only spend an hour and a half, it being their monthly exams. When we’re set to go home, I booked a ride while also trying for the first time, making use of a P150 discount coupon. The driver sent me a message telling me to cancel the booking ’cause he “just realized” that he’s in fact “coding.” Since we’re already outside the school premises, and ’cause I don’t have a spare phone with me, I ended up having to cancel from my end since I’d have to rebook a ride. Surprisingly enough, the same driver appeared, and was in fact at the same place he was. So it would be likely that he actually just doesn’t want to go through with our booking. I would’ve understood if he’s really under coding that day and would have to cancel if he really forgot. But if he really were, then he should’ve already went off the grid. I already sent a report, but still no feedback after a week.

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