KUALA LUMPUR – July 9, 2018: Those who rely on public transport are now arguing that Grab’s position as a cheap service no longer holds since it is now said to be more expensive than conventional taxis but the claim has been disputed by a driver and someone writing at Facebook.
One claim was that a one-way trip for about 10 minutes over about five kilometres costs only about RM7 by taxi but is RM14 by Grab.
However, one Daniel Arputham, who says he is a Grab driver, pointed out that it would only cost RM14 per 5km by the e-hailing service if the vehicle is a 6-seater.
“It is not true that Grab charges RM14 for such a trip. I am a Grab driver and Grab rates are between RM5-6 only and RM12–RM14 if the customer wants a 6-seater,” said Arputham.
Facebooker Jackson Woon agreed with Arputham.
“No way Grab charges RM14 for 5km distance. FMT (the news portal which published the report) needs to show proof or risk being sued for false reporting,” he said.
He also said that even if the fare cited was indeed RM14 due to peak hour pick-up or high demand, the same higher fare would apply to conventional taxis.
However, in Twittersphere many Malaysians voiced their unhappiness with Grab, alleging that Grab had increased rates ever since the acquisition of its rival Uber some three months back.
A Twitter user known only as Adam said a monopoly is never good and the e-hailing sector in Malaysia is a good example of that.
“Why am I not surprised with the increase in price? All complaints have fallen on deaf ears. Monopoly is never good for consumers!” said Adam.
Another Twitter user, Chia Shaw Chyn, also supported the notion that Grab is more expensive nowadays.
“Guess what? On June 30 (Saturday) around 9pm, a taxi from KLCC to Kepong cost RM30 while Grab asked for RM79. Judge yourself!” alleged Chia.
A Grab spokesman responded to claims by citing dynamic pricing based on demand and supply as a main factor.
He cited the recent bad weather as well as the fasting month and Hari Raya as the cause for an increase in demand.
“There may have been a shortage of cars available in certain areas. We do appreciate our customers for their patience and constant feedback as we continuously look at various options to ensure a balance (service and demands),” said the spokesman.