$14 ride costs $42? Grab prices surge even after technical glitch causes GrabPay credits to disappear from customer’s accounts


Both Grab customers and drivers were affected by a technical issue on the ride-hailing mobile application this morning, after a glitch caused GrabPay credits in the GrabPay mobile wallet payment system to disappear from customer’s accounts.

Interestingly, prices continued to surge on the app even despite the glitch. As the Downtown Line was also hit by a signal fault, causing delays during the morning peak hours, some netizens questioned whether the company is capitalising on the opportunity to hike fares.

Netizens were frustrated and alarmed by the glitch. Facebook user Marr Sakiynah R Giri wrote, “Hello grab! I already put money in my credits last night and now i can’t get to work!”

Another Facebook user noted that ride prices had surged to “unusually high” figures and asked: “My wallet credits are all gone! Is this supposed to be normal? S$42 instead of the usual S$14. Is Grab capitalising on such an opportunity?”

Drivers have also been affected. Facebook user Ng Soo Horng shared in a Facebook community page for GrabHitch drivers: “I had more than S$90 in my GrabHitch driver’s wallet last night. I did not cash out. Today becomes S$0 with no past transactions found. Ride history remains though”.

Other Grab drivers have also told reporters and shared on social media that they have been having difficulties getting passengers this morning. One unnamed driver told a reporter that he was on the road for three hours, since 6am, and was only able to get a passenger around 9am today.

Grab notified customers on the app that they are “experiencing a technical issue and may only be able to accept cash rides right now,” during the rush hour this morning. They later said in a Facebook post that their engineers are investigating the issue and that they “expect to be back up in 30 minutes”.

In a subsequent post around 9.20am, Grab apologised to users for the inconvenience and updated: “You can now book rides using cash and GrabPay linked cards. We are still working on GrabPay Credits and Rewards…Rest assured your balances will reappear in app once we do!”

They later updated that all services have resumed, around 10am.

We are currently facing a technical issue with our Grab app. Our engineers are already looking into this and we expect to be back up in 30 minutes.

Posted by Grab on Wednesday, 28 February 2018

Update: we have resolved all issues. You can now resuming booking with all types of payment. We are sorry for all the…

Posted by Grab on Wednesday, 28 February 2018



  1. How grab justified the price on the service between peak and non peak. Cannot be non limit to go up the price. What people used to said ” dont suka suka up the price”. How do we really know the demand.
    LTA should be inform on price up. What will happen if every provider used demand reason to justified the price

  2. Ahhh…many of u you like rt Grab n Uber…once a while kena super high price kaopeh already…wht bout those daily or frequent trips tt u pay crazy dirt cheap prices…ever give a lil thot on hw n wht e drivers r earning…mind u..whtever price u pay, Grab n Uber take at least 20% sometimes even more, of tt fare…so quit complainin..!!

  3. Capitalise on what. Driver’s app also down, how to match. How to capitalise when there’s no transaction. I tried to book from jurong west to Vivo @$56 also no driver taking coz Driver’s app also down. So quick to jump to conclusion that Grab is capitalising on the MRT down time.

    • Yes, fully agree. The system works in a very special way. No drivers to take the job and the price will surge. Grab does not capitalise on this,as there is No Transaction at all.The reported news is very unfair to Grab. Without fully understanding the situation and pinpoint to the prices indicated. I think the customer does not transact this trip but made use of this price surge situation to have an unfair Fuss with Grab.

  4. No midnight charge.. no peak hour charge.. no location surcharge.. only surge when demand. Why dont you complain so cheap most of the time??? Head you win.. tail you also want to win.. better take bus or mrt.

  5. Surge pricing is based on supply and demand. Thus a $42 fare could be possible if the train breakdown happens during peak hours.
    During the previous massive train breakdown on NSEWL, it even went up till a few hundred dollars and both Grab & Uber had to go turn off the surge mechanism.
    Given that Grab was oso fighting its own fire and trying to restore the Grab credits, they might have not monitored the news and turn it off surge mechanism

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