Local Grab drivers are sending messages of support and reassuring encouragement to a fellow private-hire car driver, a single mother of three who allegedly experienced a stressful incident with a rude passenger two nights ago.
“I am posting this so that the public can understand the difficulties and stress, as well as at times verbal abuse, which we have to go through as Grab drivers,” she wrote in a Facebook post, which she also shared on the Private Hire SG Cars/Partners Facebook group.
The lady had received a booking at Nanyang Polytechnic around 10:20pm, but when she arrived at the institute, the passenger was nowhere to be seen at the main entrance. The passenger then asked her to pick him up at another gate, but could not tell her the name of the street for her to look for. Being unfamiliar with the location, she told him that she was not able to do so.
The passenger, presumably frustrated, told her to cancel the ride if she was not able to locate him. She rebutted by telling him to cancel it, insisting that she already took some time to get to the Polytechnic and was not willing to “spend more time looking for a location” she was unsure about. After he refused, she agreed to cancel the ride on her side.
But doing so immediately would affect her driver ratings, and having incentives was important to her in trying to make ends meet. As such, she had to wait five minutes to cancel the ride so her rating wouldn’t be affected — but this was misunderstood by the passenger to be a refusal to cancel the ride. According to the driver, he went ballistic and chided her for not being able to find the location and not canceling the job, even after the woman told him about her difficulties as a single mother.
She highlighted three issues from the experience:
- Sometimes it is not easy to find an exact pickup location; Nanyang Poly is a huge place with many blocks and it is not easy, if one is not familiar with the place, to find the exact pickup location.
- Passengers should be more understanding and make some effort to allow drivers either some time or walk out to a location which is easier to find.
- Ratings are important to us as Grab drivers. This affects our incentives and also availability of jobs. As this is our livelihood, Grab should help drivers with such situations — perhaps allowing us to cancel when we come across unreasonable passengers.
“I just wish there can be more tolerance and patience in our society — which unfortunately many Singaporeans still have to learn,” she concluded.
Fellow Grab drivers offered their support and some advice when facing similar situations.