S'pore Grab banned driver of nearly 10 years for 'inappropriate' comments on passenger's physical appearance

The driver had also asked the passenger "overly personal questions".

Syahindah Ishak | August 03, 2022, 05:34 PM

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A TikTok user in Singapore recently posted a video on Jul. 27, claiming that their father, a Grab driver, was suddenly banned from the ride-hailing platform due to a conversation he had with a passenger.

According to the video, the driver had been a Grab driver-partner for nearly 10 years, earning an average of 4.9/5 rating from his passengers.

Locked out of Grab account

One day, while he was on the road, he got a call from a Grab staff who asked if he recalled any recent instance in which a passenger was uncomfortable during a ride with him.

The driver, however, did not recall "any unhappiness expressed by any passenger", as stated in the TikTok video.

The video then claimed that the driver got locked out of his Grab account and received the following email from Grab on Jul. 22:

Screenshot from user1415397997857/TikTok.

Permanently banned for "inappropriate behaviours"

In the email, Grab said the driver's account was permanently banned for "displaying inappropriate behaviours during one of [his] rides".

The email further stated:

"You were found to have engaged in conversations relating to inappropriate topics with your passenger such as commenting on physical appearance and asking overly personal questions that are not related to the booking."

Grab also said in the email that the driver could submit an appeal if he believed that he was "wrongly banned".

Appeal rejected

According to the TikTok video, the driver submitted an appeal against his ban, saying:

"I cannot think of any significant incident that occurred during the relevant trip. There is no reason for me to make any offensive conversation with the passenger apart from the usual small talk about normal topics. There was no quarrel with this rider. From my perspective, there is no reason for there to be conflict."

Screenshot from user1415397997857/TikTok.

The driver's appeal, however, was "rejected with no reason", the TikTok user wrote in the video.

The user had also urged their father to search through his dashcam footage for voice evidence that he was "not aware of any unhappiness" expressed by the passenger.

But the driver claimed that the dashcam footage had already been refreshed by the time Grab contacted him about the incident.

The TikTok user subsequently ended the video by saying:

"We hope to urge everyone to speak up and tell [the driver] to stop if the chat is getting uncomfortable for you.  They would stop. My dad would. Just a simple complain has cost my dad a lot of sadness, disappointment and also his livelihood."

@user14153979978577 we hate to bring it to social media but we feel unjust @grabsingapore ♬ Clair de Lune - Johann Debussy

Grab conducted thorough investigation before deciding on the ban

In response to queries from Mothership, a Grab spokesperson said:

"We have conducted our investigations on this matter and have reached out to this driver-partner again to explain the specific reason for the ban. Grab does not tolerate any kind of inappropriate behaviour that goes against our code of conduct.

Driver-partners and passengers found to display errant behaviour after investigation will be suspended or banned from the platform. Ensuring that all who use our platform feel safe and comfortable is very important to us, and we urge everyone to treat one another with respect.

Mothership understands that a thorough investigation was conducted by Grab before the decision was made to ban the driver.

As part of the investigation, Grab had reached out to the driver and had conversations with him after the harassment report was lodged.

Additionally, Grab had later informed the driver the reason for the ban and why his appeal was rejected, which he had acknowledged.

Mothership also understands that the driver was not aware that his child had posted about him on TikTok.

Top images via user1415397997857/TikTok & Grab/Facebook.