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GrabTaxi Addresses Recent “Panic” Incident

GrabTaxi Addresses Recent “Panic” Incident

 

Last August 14, 2014, a post regarding a GrabTaxi incident made rounds on Facebook. The incident reportedly happened last August 11 and is posted as follows.

Grabtaxi Incident

Maging alerto po tayo sa pagsakay ng taxi, kahit pa po galing sa GrabTaxi. The following statements came from a coworker, who availed the services of Grabtaxi, last Monday, August 11, 2014: (Translated: Let’s be alert when riding a taxi, even if it is from GrabTaxi.)

“Just wanted to report an incident that happened to me last night so we can also warn others.

At about 1030pm I booked a cab from GrabTaxi. Nung una dinadaldal ako ng driver then napapansin ko nung mejo nkakalayo na kme lagi cia naglelean sa passenger seat. Tas nung mga nsa bandang quiapo na, nag headset cia but the weird thing is prang may something cia sa ilong. And then he leaned again sa passenger seat so nkakaramdam nko ng kaba, I already started breathing using my mouth. Tas ayun nka headset cia at may kausap sa phone asawa nya daw, tas out of nowhere sbi nya saakin, mam nde pa ba kayo inaatok? Tulog muna kayo. At that point sbi ko bababa nko. Tas mejo gumilid cia at dun ko nakita na may hawak ciang puting basahan, at mas nakita ko ung rubber thing sa ilong nya confirming he is blocking his nose. Nakakalasa ndn ako ng nde maganda (because I was breathing using my mouth) at nanlalata. Nakababa nman ako nman ako khit dinadaldal nya ako to distract me, sbi ko bababa nko kasi may nagaantay din saakin. I opened the door even if nde pa nya tinitigil ung sasakyan. (Translated: At about 10:30PM, I booked a cab from GrabTaxi. At first, I was chatting with the driver then when we were already a bit far from where we came from I noticed that he kept leaning on the passenger seat. Then, when were already near Quaipo, he wore a headset but the weird thing is it seems there’s something in his nose. He leaned on the passenger seat again, which made me feel quite nervous. He was still on his headset and he said he was talking to his wife and out of nowhere he asked, “Ma’am, aren’t you feeling sleepy yet? You can sleep”. At that point, I told him to let me off the taxi. He went on one side and I noticed he was holding a white cloth and I saw a rubber thing in his nose, which confirms that he is blocking his nose. I even tasted something funny (because I was breating using my mouth) and I was feeling a bit dizzy already. I was able to get out of the taxi even if he was chatting with me to distract me despite saying I needed to be let off because someone was waiting for me. I opened the door even if he didn’t stop the car yet.)

I know we have a taxi service dito sa harap ng building but due to an emergency at dahil sanay ako gumamit ng GrabTaxi I was under the impression na safe nman. (Translated: I know we have a taxi service here in front of our building but due to an emergency and because I’m already used to taking GrabTaxi, I was under the impression that it is safe.)

Un lng po I just want to inform you po pra mapagingat din mga ibang taga na wag magtiwala bsta khit GrabTaxi pa yan. (Translated: That is all, I just want to inform you so you can be more careful and not be quick to trust even if it is GrabTaxi.)

I attached the plate number of the vehicle and the driver details here.”

Pakikalat na lang po para malaman din ng mga ibang tao na nag-avail ng service ng GrabTaxi. (Translated: Please spread the word so that more people will be aware especially those using the service of GrabTaxi.)

On August 19, 2014, GrabTaxi posted a response regarding the said incident.

Our Dearest Grabbers,

We would like to reach out and thank each and every one of you who have shared the concern about the safety of our passengers on the road. Awareness is definitely key in safety and preventive measures. That being said, we would like to inform you that the August 11 incident has been CLOSED and all parties involved and the GrabTaxi team would like to put this all behind us. We wanted to respect the privacy of all parties involved, but we do understand that your safety as our passengers is priority. We take matters like this seriously and therefore took a week for a full investigation to take place.

———-

August 11 (Monday), 11:00pm: The “incident” happened. Passenger’s story:

*Translated to English*

“At about 10:30pm I booked a cab from GrabTaxi. At first the driver was talking to me then I noticed that he kept leaning towards the passenger seat. By the time we were around Quiapo area, he wore a headset and there was a rubber thing on his nose. And then he leaned again towards the passenger seat so I already started being scared and started breathing through my mouth. He was on his headset and was on the phone with his wife. Then out of nowhere asks me “Ma’am aren’t you sleepy? You can sleep first.” At that point I said that I’ll go down the cab. I saw him holding a white cloth and a rubber thing was on his nose confirming he really is blocking his nose. I also tasted dry air (because I was breathing through my mouth). I was able to go down the cab despite him talking to me to distract me. I told him that I’ll go down already. I opened the door even if he hasn’t stopped the cab yet.” – Pulled from a Facebook post

August 12 (Tuesday), 9:00am: We started calling the passenger upon discovery of the “incident”. Driver had already been suspended until further notice. We started pulling out data and GrabTaxi data showed that driver had high ratings from passengers. We also called his recent passengers to ask about him and all comments were positive.

August 12 (Tuesday), 3:00pm: We were finally able to call the passenger and urged her to get a medical exam to get full toxicology report as evidence for the investigation. However, passenger wasn’t able to because of miscommunication regarding the urgency of the medical exam and the validity of it.

August 12 (Tuesday), 4:00pm: After hearing the passenger’s side, we called the driver immediately to get his side of the story. Thereafter, we called him to the office for further investigation but driver had said he could go to the office only on Thursday as he was coding on Wednesday. We opted not to be aggressive towards the driver as we wanted to ensure the investigation took place first.

August 14 (Thursday): Driver arrived at the office and we brought him to the police station so authorities can check his cab and get a full statement from him. Driver’s story:

*Translated in English*

“Passenger booked a GrabTaxi on August 11, 2014, Monday, 10:14pm. I picked her up in SM Cyberwest, across SM North, and she asked to be dropped off in Starbucks Lito Cruz. She went inside my cab and by the time we were around Quiapo area, she suddenly opened the door and wanted to jump. I stopped her and dropped her off in the nearest church. During the ride, my taxi operator was calling me because of an emergency back at home, that’s why I put on my headset and bit the mouthpiece to call my wife. Since the incident, I’ve been receiving “death threats” and a few people have been accusing me of using chemical spray that I never did. I would never do such thing and wouldn’t even dare do such thing with the GrabTaxi system because I know that my details are out there!”

We investigated further and his story was correct as the taxi operator and wife attested to it. Screenshots also proved that the call really did take place at that time.

August 15 (Friday): We invited passenger to meet with us and she agreed to meet only on August 19, 10am.

August 19 (Tuesday), 10am: We met with the passenger together with her parents. We heard her full story again and shared with her previous actions taken. She admittedly said that there was one post on Facebook that was exaggerated but that she had no control over it as she didn’t know who posted it. Passenger acknowledged that she is aware of the safety features of GrabTaxi and said so herself that worse things could have happened if it had been any non-GrabTaxi driver.

———-

We are thankful to everyone who tagged us and reported the incident and we are happy that the whole incident is finally closed.

The GrabTaxi App was developed to address many issues, with safety being the top of the list. We properly screen our drivers through referrals made by their own taxi operators and through verified personal data and information that we require from them. In addition, we make sure that drivers have no criminal records. Moving forward, we plan to make sure safety is even MORE prioritized by working with the police so they can verify and cross-check driver data. I personally assure you that we plan to do this the soonest. This is already being done by our other countries but plan to have the same system here in the Philippines. Safety has ALWAYS BEEN and ALWAYS WILL BE our number 1 priority.

Thank you for your continued patronage and we hope this clarifies things. As always, Keep Grabbing!

Grab Away!

Natasha Bautista

Assistant General Manager

 

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GrabTaxi Addresses Recent “Panic” Incident