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Grab imposes S$2 fee on users who cancel rides 'excessively'

The fee will be levied on passengers who cancel more than 10 rides in a week, the ride-hailing company says. 

SINGAPORE: Users of ride-hailing platform Grab will now have to pay a S$2 fee if they cancel bookings “excessively” - which the company defines as more than 10 cancellations in a week.

For passengers using Grab's cashless payment platform, GrabPay, S$2 will be charged to their accounts once they cancel more than 10 rides in seven days. Non-GrabPay passengers who hit the cancellation limit will have to enable GrabPay before they are allowed to make a new booking.

This cancellation fee will be paid to drivers through Grab, the company said. It also told Channel NewsAsia that even before the introduction of the cancellation fee, Grab consistently reimbursed drivers out of goodwill for cancellations made by passengers after five minutes of a booking confirmation. 

"Cancellations made by drivers or passengers cause huge inconveniences to one another - loss of earnings for drivers already en-route to pick up a passenger and loss of trust for passengers waiting for their ride to arrive," the company said in a blogpost on Tuesday (Jan 10).

The company said that drivers' performance is currently measured based on their cancellation rates, among other factors, and cancelling on more passengers affects the incentives and perks they receive.

It added that it will review and adjust the cancellation threshold over time and that its aim was to encourage people to make bookings and stick with them.

"Be assured that our app will always give ample notice in the form of warning notifications before we deduct the fee," Grab said.

Competing ride-hailing app Uber charges cancellation fees starting from S$2 for taxis to S$10 for premium cars for passengers who cancel after five minutes. However, drivers who are more than five minutes behind the estimated time of arrival do not receive a cancellation fee if passengers cancel the rides.