The Philippine Competition Commission (PCC) has ordered ride-share company Grab to refund high fare payments made by recent customers.
A total of about Php5.05 million will be returned to Grab customers who booked their services from February to May 2019. This was announced last November 14 by the PCC, who ordered Grab to refund the payments within 60 days.
Issues like this are not a first for Grab. Last July 2018, due to overcharging, the company was ordered to pay a Php10-million penalty and a rebate for charging Php2.00 per minute “waiting time” to customers. Another incident in January led to a Php6.5-million fine filed by PCC to Grab for not submitting sufficient data on fare monitoring.
Grab, as admitted by the PCC, continues to virtually monopolize the ride-share transportation market with no huge incoming competitors. So as a way to protect its customers, PCC has set a monthly average fare cap which limits price increases to 22.5% in most months. Violations of this new set price cap may result in a Php2 million penalty per breach.
Since the Grab and Uber merger, the anti-trust body has been scrutinizing with the ride-hailing app’s compliance with its imposed conditions. The PCC noticed that the merger has resulted in an increase of rates but a decline in their services.
Part of a new set of conditions made by the PCC to Grab is the refunding of overpayments which will be returned through rebates.
Grab drivers are also allowed to work for other transport companies as part of the new conditions. Starting April, drivers are also asked to comply with a 70% booking completion rate per month.
The Php5.05-million worth of refund will be arranged by Grab to be rebated to customers through their accounts. The company will be announcing the payment process at least five days before the actual refund. The implementation of the refunds and the new conditions will be done by Grab as agreed with the PCC.