GrabCar apologizes in the Philippines

GrabCar Philippines has expressed apology and vowed to review its booking and pricing model after several Filipino commuters failed to use the transport service amid the downpour Tuesday in Metro Manila on the night of September 8, 2015.

"We would like to apologize to commuters as not everyone was able to get a ride home via our service during the downpour last Tuesday. GrabTaxi has always been committed to providing a better option for public transportation,” GrabCar Philippines head Natasha Dawn Bautista said.

Ms. Bautista said many GrabTaxi drivers were not able to  accept bookings as they were caught in the gridlock because of the heavy rains, like the rest of Metro Manila residents.

"The flooded road conditions also meant that they would have risked passenger safety and their cars breaking down,” she said.

Ms. Bautista said she would meet with officials of Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board to discuss in detail the consumer needs and feedback on GrabTaxi and GrabCar.

"We will continuously improve our service to provide a safe and reliable service for passengers in Manila,” she said.

Ms.  Bautista said GrabCar plans to release a few app updates to improve the algorithm of matching demand and supply, particularly during peak hours.

"Currently, availability of drivers can be more accurate and we are further developing the app to address that,” she said.

She said the company would also enforce stricter process of reprimanding drivers for the improper use of the app and remind them on the high service level expected from them.

"We will not hesitate to investigate and deregister errant drivers. We urge passengers to rate our drivers and give proper feedback in our app so that we may be able to take corrective actions, if any,” Ms. Bautista said.

Bautista said GrabCar would review pricing model and effectiveness of the optional tip feature, while maintaining simplified fixed pricing for GrabCar passengers.

"The fixed pricing model was designed so that passengers don’t have to worry about unreasonable fares because of unforeseen circumstances like different route, traffic, or surge in demand,” she said.

"In the event that these happen, the tip function allows us to balance out high demand during low supply situations without forcing passengers to pay a surge. There have been varying viewpoints on the value of this feature, and we commit to reviewing it to better suit the market,” she said.

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