Grab drivers need more transparency from company — Sophie Shakur

OCTOBER 6 — As a Grab driver, I have a mixed experience participating in ride e-hailing. 

It was awkward to change from working in an office to drive Grab and spend most of your time in the car. 

After I was asked to leave my full-time job, I had to find a way to support myself and I chose to drive Grab to get extra income. 

Most of my customers are very friendly to me. I really enjoy some of the moments communicating with clients from all sorts of backgrounds and some of the older ones are willing to share and advise on life. 

From my experience, some customers will discuss issues surrounding their life and how they are all doing their best to survive and to wait for a better opportunity in life. 

I realised that all of us are the same regardless of our difference in race, age, and gender. I always try to be a good listener and try to provide a good response to them. 

I learned a lot from the conversations I had with all my customers and I feel that I am getting more matured as I go through this journey.  

Recently, I read in the news that the Malaysia Competition Commission (MyCC) proposed a fine on GrabCar Sdn Bhd for breaching anti-monopoly laws following its merger with Uber. 

Malaysia is the third country after Singapore and Philippines to go after Grab. I would like to express my opinion on this issue. 

As a Grab driver I am very disappointed and feel that due to the monopoly Grab has been getting away with many things. 

Firstly, Grab has a new feature which is “Auto Accept” where a driver automatically accepts jobs. The only way to decline the customer is to reject the customer by stating a reason; however, the driver might face a penalty due to this. 

This is clearly an abuse to the driver since some drivers prefer to do close range pick-ups so they can go home or pick their child up from the tuition centre whereas some would like to go for longer destinations to earn more.

Secondly, I know some drivers who were allegedly terminated without proper notice by Grab. This is clearly infringing on the rights of the drivers. 

We as Grab drivers are using our own vehicles and are out there with customers; don’t we deserve more respect than this? Maybe if there is competition, Grab will treat its drivers with more respect and dignity. 

Thirdly are transparency issues on payment; I have no clue as a driver the amount charged for the destination. Sometimes, I need to travel far but only get a small amount of money. 

As a huge organisation, Grab should display how much they are charging and the breakdown so that everyone is clear on why the payments are as stated. 

As a Grab driver, I don’t even understand how the calculations are made. I have no choice but to follow. 

MyCC is right to fine Grab, monopolies are dangerous because they encourage exploitation and abuse for profits. 

Grab drivers should take a page from the book of Food Panda riders and stand in solidarity with them, so they will return the favour in case Grab drivers some day take a stand against Grab.

*This is the personal opinion of the writer or publication and does not necessarily represent the views of Malay Mail.

Related Articles