Transport Ministry Demands for e-Hailing Firms to Explain Absurd High Fare Prices

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(source: BusinessInsider)

E-hailing capitalists are finally being investigated for charging unreasonably high fares after months of squeezing their clients’ wallets dry.

If you use an e-hailing service often, you may have noticed a significant shift lately.

The booking cost is rising tremendously; it’s becoming more difficult to book a trip, and even if you do, your driver is most probably 15 minutes away and is completing another booking first.

Malaysians are astute and, once again, quick to voice their displeasure on social media as a result of the unexpected spike in price and reduction in service quality.

One Twitter user suggested that she should just delete Grab for trying to charge her RM17 for an 8-minute cab ride.

Another user shared the same frustration after being charged RM23 for a 5-minute taxi journey using the same application.

When interviewed regarding the issue, Malaysia e-Hailing Industry Workers Welfare Association chairman Jose Rizal said “Actually, the issue involving the surge in e-hailing fares should not arise since passengers have the option to agree or reject the fares as there are 32 e-hailing operators approved by the Land Public Transport Agency (APAD) since April this year.”

This poses a few concerns.

What can your customers complain about if they can’t gripe about excessive fares? Are customers supposed to merely nod and consent to all of your service charges with no questions asked? Wasn’t the fundamental goal of e-hailing to assist people traveling at a low cost?

Sadly, these issues have yet to be addressed, but e-hailing companies should remind themselves of their genuine purposes in operating a company that purports to be “for the people”.

Fortunately, the Malaysian government has declared enough is enough.

The Transport Ministry, through the Land Public Transport Agency (APAD), has directed that some e-hailing businesses justify the price increase of services supplied by their separate platforms.

Datuk Seri Dr Wee Ka Siong, its minister, said that he expected the e-hailing businesses to submit an explanation within the next two days.

Datuk Seri Dr Wee Ka Siong (source: soyacincau)

He said that his officials are now reviewing all of the complaints received from e-hailing consumers about the rate rise and obtaining reasons from the service providers.

“If the fare suddenly increased to RM70 from RM20 per trip previously, this is certainly a burden to the people.

“Therefore, we want to hear from the e-hailing companies what is the reason behind the sudden surge in the fares. If the companies blamed it on congestion, then how come such an issue had never happened before (before the country was struck by Covid-19),” said Datuk Seri Dr Wee Ka Siong yesterday.

E-hailing companies have one more day to explain why there have been so many complaints.

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