On January 8, Go-Jek driver Debbie Simpson Ong published an impassioned post on Facebook, calling upon all passengers to stop the “I pay, you listen” attitude, citing the many challenges that private-hire vehicle drivers face in Singapore, plus the immediate need for consideration and respect from passenger to driver. After having accidentally deleted her post, she re-published it today.
The nine-point list is strong, powerfully delivered and extremely vehement. She does not name names or cite specific instances, but it’s clear that she has experienced difficult, inconsiderate and entitled passengers one too many times.
“We drive to make a living, we are not your slaves,” Ong said in her post.
Check out the post below:
Before getting upset, passengers should perhaps take a step back and check Ong’s list out. At the end of the day, the goal is for driver and rider to get along, have mutual respect, and have a smooth, successful trip.
“Don’t spoil your day and the driver’s day,” said Ong, after citing ways that passengers can be much more considerate toward private-hire vehicle drivers.
Ong starts out by saying that riders choose Go-Jek for its competitive prices, which are cheaper than most of the competition. She then launches into her nine points, which we have summarised below.
Go-Jek does not have a function for multiple stops, so passengers should take note of that and not try to make drivers go to different destinations.
Ong said that some drivers have even been suspended for trying to collect proper payment from passengers who demand multiple stops.
Children below 1.35 meters are not allowed to sit in vehicles without booster seats, which is the law in Singapore. Passengers should call first to confirm whether the Go-Jek car has the proper seat.
“Don’t force drivers to break the law for you,” Ong said.
Go-Jek drivers are working an average of 12 hours per day, which amounts to around 24 trips in total. Passengers should be considerate of this and be on time for trips.
Ong cited the “self-entitled, air head, selfish nature” of passengers who make drivers wait, reminding people that if every rider (around 24 trips a day) makes the driver wait for five minutes, “drivers need to stay on the road for another 2 hours” to hit their quota.
Passengers should not make last-minute changes to their destinations. A different destination will dictate a different price. For those who want to change their destination, they should expect to pay the difference.
Ong said that many passengers refuse to follow this and have the “I pay, you listen” attitude, which is extremely unhelpful and inconsiderate. “You paid for a trip to a destination you want to go, you didn’t pay for a slave. Get that into your head,” said Ong.
Passengers should wait to be offered or should ask before just taking sweets or snacks that drivers have in their vehicles.
Ong reminded passengers that the sweets or snacks are the drivers’ personal food. Passengers are paying for the ride, not for food.
Passengers should not eat or drink in the private-hire cars, and out of consideration to the drivers, anything taken in, such as food wrappers or empty bottles, should also be taken out.
“You bring it in, you take it out,” said Ong.
Passengers should refrain from being backseat drivers and let the drivers do their jobs without hassle or interruption.
“Do not tell us how to drive and which way to go,” said Ong.
Passengers should abide by the law and put their seatbelts on.
Drivers receive 3 demerit points and are fined $120 for each passenger who is not wearing their seatbelt.
Passengers should not ask drivers to pick them up or drop them off at bus stops, taxi stands or no stopping areas.
Drivers receive 3 demerit points and are fined $300 for stopping at such areas.
Ong closed her post with this paragraph:
“I am not saying all riders are like that, but many of you are. So, please do everyone a favour and stop behaving like a self-entitled brat. Don’t spoil your day and the drivers day.”
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