Shorter grace period and new $3 waiting fee for Gojek from Sept 26

The fee applies for all trips on the ride-hailing service provider’s platform, namely GoCar, GoCar XL and GoCar Premium. PHOTO: ST FILE

SINGAPORE - Ride-hailing service provider Gojek is following its rival Grab in imposing a waiting time charge. From Sept 26, passengers will have four minutes to reach the pickup point before a waiting fee of $3 is applied.

An additional $3 is charged for every five minutes the driver has to wait thereafter. The total fee chargeable for waiting is capped at $9.

The waiting time fee applies for all trips on the Gojek platform, namely GoCar, GoCar XL and GoCar Premium. There are no waiting fees applicable for GoTaxi service.

The announcement was made on Gojek's website on Monday.

Previously, Gojek had a five-minute grace period for passengers to make a free cancellation. Together with the introduction of the waiting fee, the grace period is now cut by a minute.

A $4 fee is applicable if the passenger cancels the booking four minutes after a driver has been matched or as soon as the driver arrives at the pickup location. It is also chargeable if the driver cancels after waiting for more than four minutes at the pickup point. The driver is not able to cancel the ride earlier than this amount of time without being penalised.

The platform advises passengers who expect to be significantly late for the pickup to cancel their booking and request a trip only when they are ready to go.

Gojek said that if it is the driver who cancels the trip, it will immediately try to match a new driver for the ride.

The fees go to the drivers and cannot be paid for or offset with vouchers. 

Gojek said that the majority of customers do reach their pickup points promptly.

However, implementing the changes ensure that its drivers “continue to be compensated fairly for their time and hard work in the event of a cancelled booking or extended waiting period”.

Passengers can request reviews through the Gojek app if they believe they are wrongly charged waiting or cancellation fees.

Ms Cindy Zheng, 40, a frequent user of ride-hailing services, said while she rarely makes the driver wait, there were times when the driver would text to say that he is already at the location when he was not. 

The marketing manager said this can cause frustration if it results in fees being charged. 

Ms Elaine Khoo, 42, who works in the pharmaceutical industry, said she is not affected by the waiting fees as she tends to book a ride only when she is ready to go, mostly to her office in the Newton area. 

Grab's move comes two months after Grab cut the grace period from five to three minutes. Since July, Grab has been charging a $3 penalty for every block of three minutes that a passenger makes its driver wait. When the announcement was made in July, Gojek said that it would continue to omit waiting fees for customers.

Another ride-hailing service, Ryde, charges a $5.30 waiting time or cancellation fee if the driver has been waiting at the pickup point for longer than four minutes. The fees do not apply for the RydeTaxi service.

Tada, which does not impose a fee for cancellation, charges $2.50 for every five-minute block spent waiting after the pickup time.

ComfortDelGro’s ComfortRide ride-hailing service does not impose waiting or cancellation charges.

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