Grab sneakily reduces reward points by more than 10 times; Premier taxis place ad in the paper about fare increase

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Photo: YouTube screengrab
 

There has been an on-going gripe about the fares of ride-hailing firms and taxi companies, especially so for GrabTaxi Holdings Pte. Ltd.

After its merger with Uber, it came as no secret that – according to a statement by the Competition & Consumer Commission of Singapore (CCCS) – “Grab would be able to raise fares for riders and commission rates for drivers”.

As of late, Grab has made changes to its reward system where it is harder for riders to accumulate points and to redeem rewards.

For the GrabPay system, Gold members used to earn 16 points for every S$1 spent, whereas they only earn 4.5 points now.

Not only that, previously, one needed 2,200 points for regular members, 2,100 points for silver members, 2,000 points for gold members, and 1,900 points for platinum members in order to redeem a S$5 cash rebate on the next Grab ride. However, now, everyone needs a blanket 2,200 points for the same S$5 cash rebate.

Instead of an official announcement, Grab shared these changes with users in the app, under an inconspicuous ‘Notifications’ tab.

However, Grab did release a statement to the media regarding the changes.

A spokesperson said:
On 20 July we updated our GrabRewards membership tiers and our policy for earning and redeeming GrabRewards points on the Grab app. The changes reflect all the different ways you can use Grab as your everyday app: you can earn points not only on rides but also when ordering a meal on GrabFood or paying with GrabPay.

As a result, more than ever, spending through GrabPay (via credit card, debit card or GrabPay Credits) instead of cash, is rewarded with more value. Users in higher tiers will now enjoy higher earning rates, as well as exclusive benefits such as cheaper partner rewards, a dedicated support line, and priority bookings. The number of points required to qualify for Silver, Gold and Platinum membership tiers have been revised accordingly. Grab will roll out additional tiered membership benefits in the near future.

For more information on our new GrabRewards policy, please refer to the GrabRewards website.

In comparison, the taxi company Premier Taxis released a statement rather boldly in what seemed to be the newspapers, about an addition of their S$3 location surcharge for each trip starting from Marina Bay Sands.

The picture, shared on Facebook group ‘Singapore Taxi Driver’ did not see as many outraged netizens as Grab’s Facebook page did.

So then, would it have been in Grab’s favour to have been more transparent in their decision to reduce rewards points?

Should brazen transparency when it comes to fare hikes be praised or frowned upon?

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obbana@theindependent.sg