GRAB PHILIPPINES (MyTaxi.PH) denied the accusations of its competitor Micab Systems Corp. on allegedly sending “phantom bookings” or fake bookings, and threatened to file a libel suit if the latter continues to make such claims.
Brian P. Cu, Grab country head, addressed the allegations of Micab Chief Executive Officer Eddie F. Ybañez in a statement on Friday, saying it can confirm the company was not sending the fake bookings.
“We took the last week to investigate internally and can confirm that Eddie Ybañez’s allegations are untrue and appears to have malicious intent,” Mr. Cu said in the statement.
“Grab did the responsible thing in taking the time to investigate, and we encourage [Mr. Ybañez] to be similarly responsible in his speech and actions. If he continues to make further false allegations, we will have to consider taking libel action,” he added.
Last week, Mr. Ybañez told BusinessWorld Micab had received 29,000 phantom bookings since June, adding “over several hundred” of its drivers reported phone invitations to attend Grab driver orientations after a booking cancellation.
Grab denied making the offers to Micab’s drivers. “We did less than 15 completed bookings a day to benchmark industry allocation rates and service levels. Further to this, we categorically did not make any follow-up phone calls to the drivers,” Mr. Cu said.
The dominant transport network company has yet to release the complete results of its investigation, but it stood firm that it is not liable for Micab’s “significant allocation problems.”
On July 18, Mr. Ybañez took to online platform e27 to write about Grab’s alleged tactics to discourage Micab drivers from staying with the new ride-hailing app. He said the drivers are now “less keen” to accept rides, as phantom bookings cost them their gas, time and safety.
He also said the company is looking to file legal charges against Grab if the experience goes on. He noted the invitation to attend driver orientations from Grab is the “single most compelling piece of evidence pointing to them as the culprit of the phantom bookings.” — Denise A. Valdez