Driver involved in $5 discount dispute with female passenger sacked by GrabTaxi

GrabTaxi has banned Mr Winson Tong from its GrabCar network, two weeks after he started working for them.
GrabTaxi has banned Mr Winson Tong from its GrabCar network, two weeks after he started working for them. PHOTO: GRABCAR

SINGAPORE - The GrabCar driver who quarrelled with his female passenger over a $5 discount has been sacked by the company.

Mr Winson Tong, 35, was accused by Ms Adeline Lok, 29, of verbally abusing and forcing her to alight from his vehicle last Wednesday (July 29) morning when he was unable to verify an SG50 promotion code that she attempted to use.

"After speaking to Winson and Adeline, we were able to confirm that the driver had flouted the strict regulations and standards of service we impose on all our drivers," said GrabTaxi in a statement on Monday (Aug 3).

"While this is unfortunate and a last resort, we have banned him from our GrabCar network.

 

"We take passenger safety and quality of service very seriously. Though this is an isolated incident, we take every precaution to ensure these remain so and we learn from each incident," the statement added.

GrabCar is an alternative service offered by GrabTaxi using private cars, instead of cabs.

In the latest twist to the saga, however, Mr Tong, who had only been a GrabCar driver for two weeks, told The Straits Times that he plans to take legal action against Ms Lok for defamation.

"I intend to pursue this matter and will be seeking legal advice from a lawyer," said Mr Tong. "She has shamed me unfairly online and marred my reputation over a trivial issue."

Ms Lok, who is self-employed, on July 29 told her side of the story on Facebook, which has been shared more than 4,200 times.

Among other things, she accused Mr Tong of insulting and threatening her, and had lodged a complaint with GrabTaxi about his behaviour.

The police was also called in, although they did not get involved in the dispute.

Both parties involved have claimed innocence, with Mr Tong saying that he never threatened his passenger. He also maintains that it was not his fault that he was unable to verify the promotion code, blaming it on technical issues suffered by GrabTaxi.

Ms Lok also wrote a follow-up Facebook post in response to netizens who criticised her for blowing up the issue on social media.

When informed of Mr Tong's intention to seek legal redress, Ms Lok said in an SMS message: "I will see him in court if need be."