P1-P13 Grab refund puzzles passengers who felt they should receive more

January 1, 2020 - 2:38 AM
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A Grab logo is pictured at the Money 20/20 Asia Fintech Trade Show in Singapore
A Grab logo is pictured at the Money 20/20 Asia Fintech Trade Show in Singapore March 21, 2019. (Reuters/Anshuman Daga/File Photo)

Grab Philippines’ refund system following an order from the Philippine Competition Commission meant that passengers received an amount as low as P1 in their wallet accounts.

The ride-hailing service company announced that it will be distributing a refund worth P19.2 million to its passengers after the PCC imposed a hefty sanction against it and ordered it to make a rebate to its riders.

However, passengers expressed frustration over the amount they received which were anything between P1 and P13 per ride given that the booking fares were a lot higher.

Grab Refund. Grabe para lang namigay sa nag karoling from Philippines

“I wasn’t expecting much but considering that I average between P350 to P500 per ride, I was expecting at least P50 man lang,” one Twitter user said.

Another Twitter user quipped that the refund was insufficient even for a jeepney ride home.

Others noted that such scheme is the consequence of a monopoly in the industry.

According to Grab, select Grab riders can redeem their refunds via the GrabRewards Catalogue wherein they have to complete a “Know-Your-Customer” process.

“In compliance with the order of the PCC, those select Grab riders who took a GrabCar ride in Metro Manila in from February 10 to May 10, and May 11 to August 10, may claim their disbursements through the GrabRewards Catalogue, where they will be required, in compliance with the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas Ban regulations, to complete the basic KYC process prior to redemption.”

Riders who booked in the following periods are eligible for a refund:

  • From February 10 to May 10, 2019 with a total of P1,200 fare
  • From May 11 to August 10, 2019 with a total of P450 fare

Once they claimed their vouchers, they will receive P1 to their GrabPay Wallets for each ride within these periods. This disbursement will also only be for passengers in Metro Manila.

The redeeming period will be from Dec. 31, 2019 to Feb. 10, 2020.

Grab’s penalties

Grab Philippines, being the major ride-hailing firm in the country, has earned several penalties from the PCC due to its overpriced booking fares.

The first one was last November wherein the anti-trust body sanctioned Grab a heavy fine worth P23.45 million for violating its commitment to regulate its prices before it merged with Uber, its former competitor in the ride-hailing business in the country.

PCC Chairman Arsenio Balisacan said the breakdown of this penalty will be P11.3 million for the first quarter, P7.1 million for the second and P5.05 million for the third.

Of these, the remaining P5.05 will be returned to affected riders.

Then, last December 18, PCC once again imposed another hefty fine worth P16.15 million fine from Grab Philippines.

Of this penalty, P14.15 million should be refunded to its passengers. The remaining P2 million would go to the PCC.