When transport network vehicle services became available in the Philippines, it was pretty much seen as a saving grace by many people. It was a better way of getting transport to and from a destination. Since these companies had to screen their drivers and their vehicles before getting approved and registered in their database, many people felt secure. No clunkers for vehicles, no foul-smelling interiors, no drivers who would contract additional fares during such rides – or so we thought.
Filipinos have once again proven that when there’s a will there’s a way – in a very negative way. A Grab driver apparently took advantage of a customer who managed to book his vehicle for a trip. Getting yourself booked via TNVS nowadays is easy and people regularly use the Grab Pay feature to automatically pay for their rides without actually forking over cash to their driver – additional feature that makes it more convenient. The driver identified by his Grab profile as Joseph Sequitin Orlina, apparently had a change of mind after he got booked by customer JC Ninofranco – stating he needed to have his tyres checked and replaced. Ninofranco was pretty trusting enough to ask the driver to cancel the fare. A little too trusting perhaps as he didn’t expect to be charged for a phantom ride.
Apparently, Orlina had another change of heart after he sent the cancellation message. He probably noticed that Ninfranco didn’t cancel the deal on his end so he sensed an opportunity to place one over another Filipino – all for the cost of P110. Orlina didn’t cancel, rather, he took Ninofranco for a phantom ride. He arrived at the pickup location made it look like he picked up the passenger and then drove around the block a few times to get the fare and then cashed in.
Ninofranco was charged by his credit card for a ride he didn’t take and of course he is mad as heck. Although it may have only been a measly sum of P110 – a very menial amount to tell you the truth, the point is that there was a breach of trust – a breach of protocol – and an indirect evidence that there are still some things in the current system that need to be strengthened because it leaves an opportunity for people to do unscrupulous things. Yes, it was only a small amount and probably would be written off, but the hassle of it all is something you wouldn’t want to handle. Besides, this is qualified theft if we are going to be technical about it.
This is a call for the people behind Grab to be aware that such activities are happening and they need to take immediate and positive action regarding this matter. Punish the driver for being an unworthy representative of your company. They must be able to put in the book to use so that the erring driver would see the error of his ways. If this isn’t resolved properly and in an immediate manner, who knows how many copycats may pursue this? Regulations and punishments must be meted out to instill discipline among the drivers of this TNVS company.