Man banned from using GrabCar

People queuing for taxis at the taxi stand outside Parklane Shopping Mall.
People queuing for taxis at the taxi stand outside Parklane Shopping Mall. PHOTO: ST FILE

He would abuse the ride-sharing service by giving bogus destinations and pick-up points

He would make bookings for rides at odd hours of the night or give bogus destinations and pick-up locations.

Once, he even booked a ride with Pulau Ubin as his destination.

These were a few of the ways in which Mr Peter Quek had harassed drivers with ride-hailing service GrabCar over nine months since November last year.

Grab, the firm behind GrabCar, said it has "permanently banned" Mr Quek from the ride-hailing platform after investigating a complaint against him from a driver.

This is believed to be the first reported case of someone being banned from a ride-sharing service for harassing its drivers.

"We take a very serious view on abuse of our platform. Abusers of our platform, be it a driver or passenger, will have their access to the platform revoked, and severe cases escalated to law enforcers," said a Grab spokesman.

The Straits Times understands that Mr Quek is a driver with SMRT Taxis who is in his 30s or 40s. He could not be reached for comment.

SMRT corporate information and communications vice-president Patrick Nathan said the transport operator was conducting its own investigations into the matter.

Besides giving fake destinations and pick-up points, Mr Quek would make excuses not to board the car after the driver had arrived, claiming he had already got a taxi.

He would then force drivers to cancel the booking, a move which would affect the driver's cancellation rate and reduce the incentive payment he receives from Grab.

GrabCar driver Eliza Shen said she filed a police report - a copy of which was seen by The Straits Times - against Mr Quek last Wednesday after being harassed by him in WhatsApp messaging groups and Facebook discussion groups.

She believed that even though there were other GrabCar drivers directing angry comments at Mr Quek, he saw her as an easy target because she is a woman. He called her a "chio bu" (attractive woman) and said she was "not bad looking". Ms Shen said: "They were all very sexist comments."

He also posted photos of her son, which he took from her Facebook account, in instant messaging chat groups and on Facebook, even though she had told him not to do so.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 27, 2016, with the headline 'Man banned from using GrabCar'. Print Edition | Subscribe