TL;DR – Good luck to us all.
By now, you should have heard about Grab buying over Uber. You probably would have come to the conclusion too, that this acquisition would negatively affect you – but how and why?
In a letter to Today, Uber driver Benedict Wu explains how many consumer and driver benefits will be lost with the merger.
Difference in protection policies
Wu explains how “Uber has a very strong protection policy for drivers” and his concern that things will change after the merger.
He cites the difference between Uber’s and Grab’s way of dealing with riders who use cash payment to evade fares by running away once they reach their destination.
Uber will send a reminder to the rider and prevent the rider from using the mobile application until payment is made. They will also reimburse the driver immediately.
As for Grab, the company supposedly gives the driver the rider’s phone number and expects the driver to liase with the rider directly to get back the fare.
Picking and choosing
Grab drivers can see the address of the riders and then choose which riders they want to pick up whereas Uber drivers do not enjoy such privilege.
As such, Grab drivers might end up picking and choosing the trips they want to make, which basically means good luck for passengers in far-flung locations such as Punggol or Pasir Laba Camp.
Loss of benefits
Just after the news of the acquisition was announced, Grab apparently removed certain incentives for drivers.
Riders are probably going to end up suffering too, with the inevitable reduction in discounts that used to come with competition.