Inconvenience caused by Grab system breakdown on 16 August

Drivers and Riders alike were caught in an unfamiliar situation when they were unable to access the Grab system during yesterday evening peak hour at around 5.45pm.

Instead of the usual MRT breakdown, Grab system was the one that had experienced major network issue which affected thousands of Grab drivers and riders.

Angry Riders hit hardest

Many riders were visibly upset and left stranded when they were not able to book a Grab trip. The situation was made worse as the network outage occurred during the evening peak hour where demand is high.

When Grab riders eventually gave up trying to book a Grab, they were hit with another surprise when they turned on their Uber app to get an Uber instead. Demand was high and the whole Singapore was experiencing surge-pricing. An Uber/Grab Driver we spoke to told us that he saw surge pricing on his app was island-wide and around the range of 1.7x to 2.1x of normal fare during the period where the Grab system was down.

Some Grab riders were also incensed that they were unable to utilise their promo code that they were entitled to and still had to pay an inflated fare on a Uber trip. A double-whammy to end the day for many.

Rider’s booking app

Clueless Grab Drivers badly affected

Grab Drivers too were badly affected by the network outage.

Some of those who were in the midst of a trip were unable to end trip after reaching the destination while others who received incoming trips were not able to see the pick-up location after accepting the trip.

One of our Grab driver in Firstlane’s community shared with us his encounter yesterday,

“Before my trip ended, I received a concurrent call and I accepted it. When I reached the first trip’s destination, I couldn’t end trip but luckily rider just paid in cash and left. When I wanted to end trip to see the next pick-up point, the app does not respond so I rebooted the app and my phone. Lagi best, now the app totally cannot log in and showed no network. After 5 minutes of rebooting my phone, the rider called and asked me why am I not moving to pick him up, I explained the situation and asked me to tell me his location as I cannot log on to the Grab app. After I picked him up, I showed him the app is not working properly. Only then he became less pissed off. When I reached the destination, the rider passed me $5 in cash and got off. As I was logged out of the system, I assumed the fare was correct since the distance was quite near. Only after the network was up again then I realised that I got shortchanged by $2. The fare was actually $7!

I tried rebooting again but still did not work so I decided to call Grab Driver Hotline. I think the hotline was so hot until there was not even a number busy tone. In the end, I give up on Grab and go home. I wasted so much of my time to get shortchanged of $2 and also my weekly PM peak hour incentive is affected as there is not much time to play catch-up to hit the higher tier incentives.

image – Grab Facebook

Normal service was only resumed after 7pm.

Grab posted an announcement on their social media page explaining that it was a technical difficulty that affected the region and apologized for the inconvenience caused during a crucial time. They urged users to restart the app and try to book again!

What Would Grab Do 

Will Grab do anything to alleviate the ‘pain and suffering’ that Drivers and Riders experienced on 16 August 2017? What do you think they can do for both Drivers and Riders? Leave a comment!

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Kim Jio
Commander-in-Chief @ Firstlane Swam to Sunny island to escape from the half-brother who ruled with an iron-fist and feed the family with needles or to dogs. Kim is my family name and Jio is my favorite fruit. Screwing around with Uber & Grab since 2014