Is Grab’s “hot weather surcharge” reasonable?

With the sudden announcement of Grab’s fee for hot weather, the Ministry of Industry and Trade recently asked Grab to explain relevant information to protect consumers. Grab will have to send information to the Ministry of Industry and Trade before July 18.

Angry customers

As a customer who often chooses Grab to move around to facilitate work, Nguyen Minh Tam (Hai Ba Trung – Hanoi) is very displeased when this car company suddenly collects a “hot weather fee”. Meanwhile, in recent months, Grab’s fees have increased rapidly. While normally at peak hours Grab has charged a price and a half higher than usual. As with a road more than 2km from Xuan Thuy to Le Duc Tho at about 11 am, it is 74,000 VND.

“The time to call a car is about to be at rush hour, but it was a Saturday, compared to me, the price is much higher than before. But now Grab also announced that it will charge a fee for hot weather, is it a fee?”, Ms. Nguyen Minh Tam asked a question.

Is Grab's hot weather surcharge reasonable? - Photo 1.Is Grab's hot weather surcharge reasonable? - Photo 1.

Grab needs to be accountable for the surcharge collection. Illustration.According to Mr. Nguyen Trung (My Dinh – Hanoi), Grab fares are now more expensive than traditional “motorcycle taxis”. The fact that Grab collects a hot sun fee makes customers even more surprised. Hot weather or windy weather is when the demand for travel by Grab, taxi … increases. Normally, the company has raised prices at these times. Now there is an additional fee to prove that the company is taking advantage of customers in force majeure conditions…

Representing consumers, Mr. Nguyen Manh Hung, Chairman of the Vietnam Consumer Protection Association, said that Grab’s surcharge in hot weather for some services is unreasonable and completely inappropriate. Because prices are formed according to regulations from the beginning, it is not possible to rely on weather reasons to arbitrarily change. Along with that, on what basis is the 5,000 VND fee based?

According to Mr. Hung, if the weather is “hot” in the autumn, I am afraid that in winter there will be “extra cold and harmful cold!”. Moreover, the hot weather not only affects Grab but also many other businesses and services, will it lead to a domino effect of “hot weather surcharge” on the price of other goods and services? ? In the end, consumers and even tech drivers as consumers suffer. Moreover, sitting on a two-wheeler, consumers also suffer from the same heat as the driver. Therefore, “the surcharge should be carefully considered to create a reputation with long-term consumers and have a shared view between the interests of the state, the interests of enterprises and the interests of consumers,” he said. Hung said.


What regulations allow the collection of “sunny surcharge”?

Recognizing Grab’s hot weather surcharges, economist Ngo Tri Long, former deputy director of the Institute for Price Market Research (Ministry of Finance), said that currently, transportation services are not owned by the State. price which is declared by the enterprise. Therefore, when Grab increases the fare or collects additional surcharges, it must declare to the management agency and comply with the declared prices and surcharges. In case the declared price or surcharge is abnormal or unreasonable, the management agency has the right to ask the business to explain to clarify, it is not the company’s discretion to increase the price. “Due to the high price of gasoline, businesses can collect additional fees to offset costs, but it is necessary to clarify and disclose to customers the concept of “hot weather”, Mr. Ngo Tri Long said.

Along with that, Mr. Bui Danh Lien, Vice Chairman of the Hanoi Transport Association, said that Grab’s hot weather surcharge is unreasonable. In terms of regulations, transport enterprises must declare freight rates with state management agencies, and then apply them. Therefore, the fact that Grab collects an additional surcharge is a form of “circumvention”, because in fact, that amount is added to the trip fare that users have to pay. State management agencies need to step in soon to check and clarify to protect the interests of consumers.

Assoc. Prof-Dr. Dinh Trong Thinh (Academy of Finance) also said that Grab should have a clear responsibility to explain the surcharge collection. This fee is paid by the car company in its entirety or in proportion to the driver? Therefore, from the perspective of dealing with customers, Grab needs to clarify information that customers do not know for customers to consider when using the service. Regulatory agencies also need to step in to protect the legitimate interests of consumers.

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Sharing from a legal perspective, lawyer Diep Nang Binh, Head of Tinh Thong Law Law Office, said that the circular on the price of road transport support services stipulates: Transport service business units in general stipulating service prices ensuring the principle of offsetting actual and reasonable production and business costs, making profits consistent with the local market price level and the socio-economic development guidelines and policies of the country. country in each period.

In addition, the transport business unit must also list service prices according to regulations, based on the actual situation in the locality. In addition, in fact, road transport support services include services at bus stations, parking lots, rest stops, transport agents, ticket agents, goods collection services, and transportation services. , warehouse services, trucking rescue services…

Thus, the fact that Grab collects a surcharge in hot weather is not allowed by any regulations and it is not part of the road transport support service. According to regulations, if Grab wants to apply toll collection, the Grab side must have a plan to report to the Department of Finance to assume the prime responsibility for, and coordinate with the Department of Transport to submit to the Provincial People’s Committee for regulations on the addition of a list of transportation support services. In the list of services, prices must be declared in the locality. Therefore, “ministries and agencies need to clarify this collection of Grab,” lawyer Binh said.

Regarding the purpose of collecting this surcharge, as explained by Grab, “to encourage more drivers to open the app after many hot days”, lawyer Diep Nang Binh said that this is to take care of the driver team. their drivers, they should reduce the driver’s discount, not collect that extra fee from the customer, and enjoy the same fee. If Grab is for its driver, it should have other welfare policies, such as giving more bonus points to drivers running at noon rush hours, health care policy…

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Immediately after receiving feedback from the public and consumers regarding Grab’s collection of “summer surcharges”, the Department of Competition and Consumer Protection (CT&BVNTD- Ministry of Industry and Trade) issued official letter No. 785/ CT-HCT sent Grab Co., Ltd. to request this business to provide a list and clarify the types, fees and surcharges currently added directly to the displayed fare. At the same time, provide detailed information on the current application of additional fees and surcharges, including: Basis, basis and criteria for application, application period, profit distribution of fees and surcharges between Grab and the driver, etc.; and other relevant information and documents before July 18.

According to the Department of Consumer Protection and Protection, recently, Grab Co., Ltd. announced: From July 6, 2022, in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City and some other localities such as Nghe An, Thanh Hoa, Hai Phong, Da Nang, In Hue…, Grab will collect an additional “summer surcharge” of 5,000 VND for each Grab Bike ride and each order for Grab Food, Grab Mart with Grab Express service is 3,000 VND per order. Therefore, the surcharge will be directly added to the screen showing the value on the receipt when the driver picks up the ride. In addition, Grab has also implemented a number of additional fees and surcharges such as “surcharge for heavy rain”, “traffic jam surcharge”, “waiting fee”.

Source: CafeBiz

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