Grab debunks S'pore rider's claim of paying S$7 more for using saved location feature

Locations that are near to each other may fall into different pricing zones, resulting in price differences.

Gawain Pek | July 29, 2022, 07:38 PM

Follow us on Telegram for the latest updates:

A Grab rider posted a clip on TikTok on Jul. 27, alleging that using saved locations when ordering a Grab car leads to higher fares.

In response to Mothership's queries, a Grab spokesperson clarified that the price difference was not due to the "Saved Places" feature in the app.

The TikTok clip has since been viewed over 180,000 times on the social media platform.

Saved locations leads to higher fares?

In the clip, the passenger, Eddie, shared that he was charged with a higher fare when using a saved location as a destination on Grab.

In his own "experiment",  he first had his work address saved under "Work".

When he used the saved location as his destination, the fare reflected was S$23.80 for the JustGrab service.

Then, he manually entered the destination address.

However, instead of using the actual address, he entered the address of the unit adjacent to his actual office unit.

In this case, he was charged S$16.80.

Eddie explained that he first learnt of this discrepancy when he came across an Instagram story of someone making the same complaint.

In the comments, Eddie emphasised that he just wanted to remind everyone to check their settings to get the cheapest fares and urged viewers not to send hate to Grab as he believes there is a technical explanation behind the price differences.

You can watch the TikTok clip here:

@mozzarellapapi Why am i getting charged 7$ more for the same trip 🤔 #sgtiktok #singaporelife ♬ original sound - Eddie

Not all experienced the same thing

Some TikTok users who commented on the clip seemed to have observed the price differences in their own experiences.

This was not the case for for everyone though.

One user was charged more after manually entering the destination address:

Others found no price differences:

Other reactions

The TikTok clip elicited cynical response such as this:

Other TikTok users speculated that the difference is simply a result of price fluctuations that normally occur on the app, though the creator of the clip claimed to have taken his screenshots one minute apart.

We try it ourselves

At Mothership, we tested these out and got different results, just like the TikTok comments section.

S$1 cheaper with manual entry:

The fare was S$1 cheaper with manual entry for JustGrab, and putting the address one unit away cost the same as when saved location was used.

More expensive with manual entry:

Manually entering the address cost more than using saved location.

A few of us who tried found no price differences.

Saved location does not lead to higher fares: Grab

In response to Mothership's queries, Grab assured that the fare differences are not due to the "Saved Places" feature in the app as the feature serves to provide riders with more convenience when selecting their pick-up and drop-off locations.

The spokesperson added that their pricing algorithm divides Singapore into many small zones on the map following latitude and longitude lines, based on the global Geohash system. Therefore, pick-up locations that are near each other physically can be in two different zones with different demand and supply conditions at any one time, thus resulting in different fares.

That being said, Grab has largely been keeping the variance in fares small for locations that are near to each other and they will continue to do so.

In fact, this was explained in an FAQ by Grab back in 2018.

Grab's algorithm divides the map into different zones in which location fares fluctuate based on the demand and supply within these zones.

Different locations, even if they are side-by-side, can fall into different zones, and thus have different fares.

In Eddie's case, by this calculation method, "27 Ann Siang Road" may be in a different zone of fare calculation from "28 Ann Siang Road".

grab explains why nearby locations have different fares Image via Grab

grab explains why nearby locations have different fares Image via Grab

The Grab spokesperson further explained that the pricing model takes into consideration of multiple factors to ensure riders get their ride quickly and drivers are compensated fairly.

Some of these factors include ride demand, the number of drivers available to meet the demand, the distance to travel and more.

Safe to say the "saved location" myth, trick, "hack" or whatever you want to call it, is busted, though you can still check to see if nearby locations are indeed cheaper.

Top image via @mozarellapapi/TikTok