Go-jerk? Passenger says driver abandoned him over S$3 tip

Three passengers picked up by a Gojek driver at Changi Airport this morning say they were abandoned at a nearby bus stop after refusing to promise a tip. 

They say the private-hire driver asked for a S$3 tip on top of the S$14 fare, contending it was less than a Grab ride, before ultimately forcing them out after they turned him down.

Grab surge is S$21 for a trip to Tampines now, so it will be nice if you can leave me a tip. Do you mind? Normally I will suggest my clients to leave me a tip of S$3 if they don’t mind. Do you mind?” the driver was quoted as saying by the passenger known as Joseph Lam. 

Gojek said it is aware of and looking into the incident.

Lam, who had documented their conversation in a Facebook post published at nearly 3am today, said that he and two others had just touched down from a red-eye flight and were picked up at the airport’s Terminal 1 to go home to Tampines. A screenshot of their booking receipt showed it was made at 1:30am. 

Lam said he originally intended to book a Grab ride, which was charging a lower fare of S$11 at the time, contrary to the Gojek driver’s claim. 

Gojek booking

Unfortunately, Grab drivers were unavailable and after 10 minutes of waiting, Lam said he gave up and switched to Gojek, where he got a successful booking. According to Lam, there was a surge of arriving passengers looking for rides at that point. 

The trio then boarded the Gojek driver’s silver Toyota and exchanged greetings as the car moved off. The driver then spoke about the different benefits Grab and Gojek drivers get and insisted on being tipped, according to Lam. 

Lam did not respond to the driver’s request, and eventually said no to him thinking that the driver would shut up. Little did Lam know that the trio would be abandoned at a bus stop along Airport Boulevard. 

“Me: Dude you serious?!” the post read. 

“Driver: Yes, because I asked if you mind tipping me and you said you mind. So do you mind me dropping you off here at the middle of the road?”

Gojek told Coconuts Singapore it does not “condone” the driver’s behavior and is looking into the matter. 

“Our policies around conduct are clearly emphasized to them in our driver-partner handbook and during the on-boarding process,” the ride-hailing company wrote in a message. “We looked into this case as soon as it was brought to our attention and are speaking with both parties to resolve the matter.”

The hundreds of commentators who read Lam’s post said the driver was at fault for not notifying the passengers about his tip-or-be-dumped policy before picking them up. 

“LTA should range action against this driver. He is spoiling the name of PHV drivers in Singapore. He should be totally banned from all platforms,” Charlie Teo wrote. 

There were also several skeptics who found it difficult to believe Lam’s one-sided story. 

“At the moment, it’s just a one-sided story. Need to hear from the driver’s side before jumping into conclusions,” Kelvin Lam wrote.

Facebook post on Gojek driver on Dec 18, 2019
Facebook post on Gojek driver on Dec 18, 2019


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This article, Go-jerk? Passenger says driver abandoned him over S$3 tip, originally appeared on Coconuts, Asia's leading alternative media company. Want more Coconuts? Sign up for our newsletters!