GRAB PHILIPPINES (MyTaxi.PH Inc) said it suspended 500 drivers last week over unjustified booking cancelations.
The company said in a statement this was in order to intensify its purge of driver ranks.
Grab Philippines country head Brian Cu said those with above 10% cancelation rate faced sanctions and suspensions.
“We will never tolerate any behavior that compromises the quality of our service. We see every post and complaint. We apologize that our services fell short,” Mr. Cu said in the statement.
He added: “However, we will move forward. We have rolled out additional and stricter measures to address issues on cancelations and this is just the start. We promise to improve to provide the quality of service our passengers deserve.”
Grab government communications manager Fiona Nicolas told reporters in a message that out of the 500, some were suspended for three to five days subject to retraining and some are now banned from the platform.
Passengers have complained about cancelations of Grab drivers. Drivers cancel bookings or ask riders to cancel the booking due to various reasons, particularly due to destinations they would not like to drive to.
For its part, the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) said last week it would issue a show-cause order against drivers who canceled rides.
Mr. Cu also said: “While we do our best to further improve driver services, we hope that our passengers would also do their part and exercise the same level of commitment. We encourage our passengers to be responsible by maintaining minimal and valid cancelations and keeping wait time to no more than 7 minutes. Passengers with reported complaints may also face sanctions.”
The company attributed the increase in cancelation rate, which doubled to 11% on Friday and Saturday, to the LTFRB’s order to suspend Grab’s P2 per minute travel charge.
“As a result, drivers drove less and Grab was only able to service half of the passenger demand,” the company said.
Grab has appealed the suspension, saying the charge is legal under a 2015 Department of Transportation order. The regulator, however, called it illegal and said they were not informed of the charge.
For his part, Puwersa ng Bayaning Atleta (PBA) Rep. Jericho Jonas B. Nograles said the LTFRB’s suspension of the charge can still lead to a “reinstatement.” He added that, by his own calculation, Grab earned an estimated total of P3.24 billion from the recorded 54 million rides since June 2017 with an average of 30 minutes per trip.
“I’m hoping (that with our) experience with the (Grab-Uber) merger, (there would be an) urgency (on the part of the House) committee on transportation,” said Mr. Nograles, who authored one of the four pending House bills seeking to regulate transportation network companies. — Patrizia Paola C. Marcelo with Charmaine A. Tadalan