Ride-hailing app Grab yesterday introduced a new cancellation fee, aimed at passengers who cancel more than 10 rides a week.
The $2 penalty, which applies to Grab's cab-booking service GrabTaxi as well as its private-hire car services GrabCar and GrabShare, will be imposed on the 11th cancellation. The money will go to the driver.
Till now, customers had not been penalised for cancelling their rides.
"Cancellations made by drivers or passengers cause huge inconveniences to one another - loss of earnings for drivers already en route to pick up a passenger and loss of trust for passengers waiting for their ride to arrive," said Grab in a blogpost yesterday.
It hoped the penalty would create a "fairer platform for drivers and passengers", noting that drivers with low cancellation rates received greater incentives.
The penalty will be charged to the user's GrabPay account but warning notifications will be sent before the amount is deducted.
The ride-hailing service added that it would "review and adjust" its cancellation limits over time.
A Grab spokesman declined to say how many cancellations it receives in a week, but noted that the company "consistently reimbursed" drivers for cancellations made by passengers after five minutes.
Drivers receive $2 from Grab if a passenger fails to show up or cancels a booking more than five minutes after it is made.
Grab's competitor, Uber, charges a $6 penalty for passengers who cancel their rides five minutes or more after booking, with the amount going to the driver.
The cancellation fee is waived if the driver is running more than five minutes late.
Some Grab users were not fazed by the announcement, noting that a total of 10 cancellations a week was quite high.
"I don't cancel bookings that much," said 30-year-old executive assistant Hennilia Hani.