A bit of bother arrived for Grab users yesterday, mere days before the only other major ride-hailing alternative Uber bids adieu to Southeast Asia. Both commuters and drivers in Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia, Philippines, and Myanmar faced difficulties in using Grab services last night thanks to a “service interruption” — a kind phrase to describe a major server outage that affected several countries.
Troubles started around 8pm yesterday, with users across the region taking to Facebook to grumble about the outage on the Grab app. The error message that popped up throughout the next few hours showed that the app was not able to connect to their servers.
It was close to 9:30pm that the ride-hailing firm apologized for the inconvenience and clarified that they were experiencing a service interruption. It was only about 11.30pm that services resumed properly.
It’s a very bad look for Grab, a company that will become the dominant ride-hailing firm in the whole of Southeast Asia. The Singapore-based firm bought over the regional ride-sharing and food delivery business of its biggest rival Uber — an acquisition hailed by Grab chief executive Anthony Tan as “the beginning of a new era”. An era that’ll feature some teething issues for commuters and drivers at the start, no doubt.