On August 15, 2017 Uber released this statement on social media. It announces the one month suspension of Uber from operating in the Philippines.
According to the news the service was suspended because Uber supposedly kept on accepting applications despite being told not to make any new activations. In response Uber said that while it is true that they did not stop accepting applications, they have not made any activations in the interim.
Shortly after they filed a motion for reconsideration with the LTFRB in response to the demand from drivers and riders. Upon filing the MR Uber cars were back on the streets, to the delight of Uber drivers and riders everywhere. But this joy was short-lived as this action angered LTFRB and they immediately told Uber to cease. Naughty Uber! Thinking you could just go back to business as usual with the MR.
Long and short, the one month suspension stays.
By this action LTFRB is punishing not only the UBER drivers but the riders as well. It means loss of income, especially for those drivers who quit their regular jobs and invested to purchase their own vehicle.
This is also frustrating for the Uber riders. All of a sudden Grab has a monopoly of the ridesharing industry and with the demand so high they jacked up their price (particularly on August 15th). In a news report a Grab representative mentioned that their price increase was capped at 1.4x … Dude, that is still 40% higher!
I admit that I use both Grab and Uber. Oftentimes I switch from one to the other and back depending on the rate and availability of cars when I need to book. With this recent suspension of Uber getting a ride has been very difficult. Not only have Grab rates jumped up the drivers are also very picky with the passengers they will pick up which means that for riders such as myself who travel quite a distance getting a ride in the afternoon or evening is not easy.
Earlier today I was booking a Grab home and my screen showed three cars in the vicinity. For almost 30 minutes I tried to get a ride repeatedly and each time I saw the same three names appear on my screen in rotation and none of them would accept my fare. How frustrating!
I was tired and just wanted to get home and my only options were:
- keep trying to get a Grab
- hail a cab
- walk to Taft and ride an FX
I was not going to hail a cab and just get rejected for wanting to be dropped off in Quezon City. I was not up to walking all the way to Taft because it was drizzling. And for that same reason I was not going to use Angkas which I often take for short trips. As for the train, I hate crowds so that was not even an option as far as I was concerned.
With no other choice I opted to keep tapping my finger on the app until I could get a ride with Grab. My only consolation being that since I was at a hotel then at least I was waiting in comfort.
My persistence was eventually rewarded a few minutes before 5:30pm. Mr. Josemmanuel (last name truncated), who still had to drop off a passenger, accepted my trip. Yey! Now why can’t the other 3 drivers be like him?
Sidenote: I’ve rarely been rejected or ignored by Uber drivers and my travel to and from work is always a distance of at least 12 kms.
My experience with Mr. Josemmanuel … he was a safe driver, the ride was comfortable, when we spoke he was well-spoken and wonderful to converse with. 5 stars!
A part of me understands why many drivers pick and choose their passengers. Perhaps they are already tired themselves and are not up to driving so far but are still willing to make short trips. But at the same time I can’t help but asked ISN’T THAT THEIR JOB?
I would understand if my destination was out of town and would need to pass through a toll booth, but it wasn’t (though there are those who would argue that Manila to Quezon City is technically out of town since they are around 12 kms apart. 😀 but still … no toll booth! :D)
If a chef in a restaurant sees a customer come in he does not like, can he opt to NOT cook for that person?
I truly hope the suspension levied by LTFRB will be lifted soon. Listen to the clamor. The need is real. Don’t be the most hated government agency in the country today.