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Grab Malaysia testing “fare bidding” feature, allowing passengers to set ride prices

Grab Malaysia is testing a new “fare bidding” feature, allowing passengers to propose ride prices.

The optional system, currently in small-scale testing, sparks mixed reactions. Some users find it reminiscent of other services, while others express concerns about fairness to drivers.

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MALAYSIA: Grab Malaysia is currently in the process of testing a new fare bidding feature that allows passengers to propose the price for their rides, providing a unique twist to the conventional ride-hailing experience.

In response to inquiries from LifestyleTech, the company revealed, “We’re currently conducting a small-scale experiment to test the feature in selected towns in Malaysia.”

Fare bidding feature by Grab

The fare bidding feature is characterized as “optional” for both passengers and drivers and existing fixed fare features like JustGrab and GrabCar will remain available.

To participate in fare-bidding rides, drivers must activate the feature.

A user on Facebook posted the process provided by GrabAcademy in a Facebook group named “Grabcar & Others E-hailing Driver Group (Malaysia).”

The demonstration illustrates the commencement of the process with a passenger initiating a ride request and proposing a fare they are prepared to pay for the journey.

(Source: Aidan Arif, Grabcar & Others E-hailing Driver Group(MALAYSIA)/ Facebook)

 

Subsequently, drivers have a 15-second window to either accept the proposed fare or counteroffer with a different amount.

The counteroffer amount is displayed on the app for the driver to propose.

Passengers, in turn, can select their preferred driver based on the offers received. Within 15 to 20 seconds, drivers are notified if they have been chosen by the passenger for the ride.

According to Grab Malaysia, the introduction of the fare bidding feature aims to establish a “more transparent and flexible pricing system” by enabling “passengers and drivers to reach a mutual agreement” on the fare.

This innovative approach is poised to reshape the dynamics of ride pricing and enhance user experience within the platform.

Online users’ responses and feedback

Reports have surfaced on social media, with some users claiming to have received notifications about the feature in GrabAcademy, an in-app learning section within the Grab driver-partners app.

Screenshots containing details about the feature have also been shared by users on various social media platforms.

Additionally, plenty pointed out the resemblance of this feature to other e-hailing services like Indrive and Maxim, both of which have employed a comparable bidding system.

Looking at the responses online, there are some who are not too keen on the introduction of this feature to Grab, stating that it is “unfair” to the driver.

A Facebook user shared his perspective online, stating, “Just thought Grab was going to change and listen to driver complaints. Turns out, no. ”

“This isn’t “fare bidding” because drivers still have no option to set the price (Which is not fair). Even the fare bidding option is still within a low price range. Nonsense.”

Another user expresses a similar view, describing it all as mere “wayang” (drama). The original poster concurred, stating, “…Even the highest bidding price is still low.”

One user expressed the hope that passengers would refrain from suggesting a fare lower than the recommended amount in this bidding system.

Meanwhile, another individual proposed that the system could be more effectively implemented during the nighttime until dawn.

According to him, during that timeframe, the fare was exorbitant due to high demand from passengers and a scarcity of drivers.

He further suggested, “If it’s daytime, it’s better for Grab to maintain the regular fare.”

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