Grab driver and single mother of three took to Facebook to talk about a negative experience with an unreasonable customer and to rally support from fellow Grab drivers.
It was past 10PM when she received the booking, which was for Nanyang Polytechnic. When she arrived at the exact location, the customer was nowhere to be found, and the gate was closed. When she called the customer, he asked her to go to another gate to look for him. As she was unfamiliar with the area and he was unable to provide her with proper directions, she was could not locate him. Things escalated quickly—the passenger, getting frustrated, asked her to choose between cancelling the job or finding the location. Since she had just spent about 7 minutes driving around, she took the option of asking him to cancel the job, which he flatly refused.
She politely informed him that she would be cancelling the job and got off the phone. In turn, she received a message from him, saying “You are very rude. How can you do this.” In the spirit of good customer service, she rang him back. He became angry, raising his voice at her, asking her why she had not yet canceled the job and berating her for not doing her job properly. She explained that she needed to wait 5 minutes before cancelling the job as it would greatly affect her driver ratings.
Grad drivers need to watch their ratings, as incentives and penalties all depend on their performance. Being a single mother of 3, it was difficult to balance her home life with driving until late at night, every single day. Maintaining good driver ratings was incredibly important to her ability to provide. The customer remained immovable in his anger and even repeated his intention to inform Grab and make sure her ratings go down.
In her post, Ms. Yeo drew attention to three very factors to take into consideration when booking a Grab – firstly, that it’s not easy to find an exact pick-up location, secondly, passengers should be more understanding and make some effort to allow drivers either some time or walk out to a location that is easier to find, and thirdly that ratings are important to Grab drivers, as it affects incentives and also availability of jobs.
Ms. Yeo has shared her story “so that the public can understand the difficulties and stress, as well as at times verbal abuse, which we have to go through as Grab drivers.”
Her fellow Grab drivers responded with comments to show their support and give her advice on how to deal with such situations.
“Nothing to gain by going into an argument or debate with people. Just cancel and call Grab hotline to inform them.”
“Sorry to hear that you have to go through this, but that’s life. Just think about the number of times that drivers have to wait for people to come down then you will know that there is a generation of people in Singapore who think that their time is more important than the driver’s. Stay strong, stay focused and stay safe!”
“Be strong, sister. Next time just cancel the ride. You have a family to feed; don’t waste time on this rider. Take care.”
Ms Yeo then said, “As this is our livelihood, Grab should help drivers with such situations – perhaps allowing us to cancel when we come across unreasonable passengers.”
She ended her post by saying, ”I just wish there can be more tolerance and patience in our society – which unfortunately many Singaporeans still have to learn.”