It was only last month when we got to experience Grab, the ride-hailing app that has become a sensation ever since its launch. As one of Southeast Asia’s most successful start-ups, it aims to revamp the local taxi markets by introducing convenient cab booking with only a few taps on our smartphones. Despite its promise, I still prefer the old fashioned way of getting a ride. And sadly from my experiences, I would often end up disappointed and sometimes scared. I enrolled in a driving school then so I could bring myself and my family to places. But still, there are times it is better to have someone drive you. Such an example was last month when we need to go to the hospital for my Cesarian section.
It was 11:30pm. Husband requested me to download the Grab app. He computed that we would most likely stay at the hospital for four days. And for four days we would be charged for the parking space which can be a real waste of money.
After a quick few seconds, I was navigating the app and discovering how it works. It was easy to set our pick up and drop off point. And I was stunned that it was easier to find the nearest available driver. I could even track the driver and know details like his location and estimated arrival time. One could even message or call the driver. But what perhaps impressed me the most was that with just a touch of one button, I could see all of the closest GrabCars available. I was empowered to make a choice.
My first Grab experience
Our driver was courteous. I can’t help but compare him with other taxi drivers. The latter would demand a certain amount in addition to the P40 flag-down rate. The Grab driver even adjusted the air conditioning unit. His vehicle as well was clean and free from any unpleasant smell.
Is Grab helpful?
I am satisfied with Grab that my first experience with them was followed by another booking. Momi Berlin itemizes the benefits she sees when one avails a ride from Grab.
Ride-hailing apps like Grab spell convenience. It eliminates the hassle of lining up on taxi bays just to reach home. It likewise frees us from hailing a cab on the street or waiting for a random taxi to pass by. You could even wait while having your coffee at the comforts of your home. In our first experience, we were able to book a ride even if it was already very late at night.
I, for one, feel safe while on board a Grab car. Got with me the name of the driver, his contact details, and his car’s plate number. I was also told those taxi drivers who wish to join Grab need to submit National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) clearance. I also feel somehow secure seeing the GPS the drivers use in navigating the streets. Have the option, too, to share the link of our exact location to my loved ones should I feel threatened or alarmed.
Discount and promo
I hate to be bombarded by text messages about condominiums and other properties offering discounts and promo. But I love it every time Grab sends me promo codes. But aside from the promo and discount, I like it that even before booking for a ride, I know how much I need to pay the driver for his services. It truly irritates me whenever a taxi driver would demand additional charge on top of his taxi meter just because the location is far and very traffic.
And what makes me head over heels in love with Grab is that they have a booth inside establishments. People without smartphones and internet connection may just approach the Grab booth for their booking needs. That, for me, is real customer service.
Why I love Grab?
I love Grab simply because I loathe taxi drivers who would say up front they are not compensated fairly. Either because they are stuck in traffic or could not get more passengers. They make it appear it is your fault that the place you are heading to is so crowded with traffic.