Grab & Uber: Things to get worse before they get better?

18141
 

Obbana Rajah

The main gripes people have with Grab are in relation to its exorbitant prices, the outrageous waiting times, its drivers who refuse to cancel rides that they do not want to accept so that they do not get penalised, and the Competition and Consumer Commission of Singapore’s (CCCS) gross lack of action in preventing the monopolistic tendencies that Grab had already started to show post-merger.

Once its merger with Uber started to happen, many noticed that Grab’s prices skyrocketed. People also got increasingly frustrated with unfair rates and vowed to never use Grab again if prices continued to escalate. Jasmine Pearlyn, who uses ride-hailing apps to commute to work says that if prices continue to go up, she will have to “revert to the traditional method of taking a cab and it will be a burden to [her] finances without a rewards system”.

She adds that ultimately she will still resort to taxis because the train system here is rather unreliable and takes twice as long for the journey.

Many also complain about the very long waiting time before they are able to get a ride.Will things have to get worse before they get better? Founder and editor-in-chief of Dealstreetasia, Joji Philip Thomas tweeted about his 30 minute wait before he managed to get a grabcar.

Then, there was also the lack of action by the CCCS. Speculation as to why they were just buying time ensued.

However, with two new ride-hailing firms set to enter Singapore’s markets in May – just a day away – things seem to be looking up for us consumers.

Competition will alleviate the problem of pricing, people will have more options to choose from between apps, and even within apps such as Jugnoo (with its reverse-bidding pricing system).

More ride-hailing firms do mean more drivers, especially at the outset. Waiting times should nary be an issue.

Lastly, the CCCS. Now that competition for Grab is just at our doorsteps, they would have to wait and see how much of the market share Grab ends up with, or if it still exhibits monopolistic tendencies. Only then will the CCCS be able to act.

Things do seem to be improving on the ride-hailing front. For now, at least.


obbana@theindependent.sg

6 COMMENTS

  1. remembering in the past had to walk all the way out to main road to hail for a cab. especially during morning peak , so many people waiting at main road and very ridiculously i walk in front of you , you walk in front of me just to get a cab first

  2. This article reflects a very lopsided report of Grabcar. Those days when there were taxis only, everyone has their fair share of taxi cherry picking. The destination too near, taxis don’t like to go. Pickup destination too far, they don’t accept. Destinations too ulu or remote, they also don’t accept. Now with Grabcar and Uber, the drivers drove literally go to the door step except that they can’t go up the lifts, with no booking fees charged like the taxis. Grabcar and Uber don’t charge airport charges that are between $3 and $5. They are black sheep among Grabcar and Uber who cherry pick. But Grabcar has a system that requires drivers to maintain high acceptance rare and low cancellations rate, and riders can rate their ride.