Passenger pays for Grab ride with HK note, worth less than one-fifth in Singapore, Latest Singapore News - The New Paper

Passenger pays for Grab ride with HK note, worth less than one-fifth in Singapore

This article is more than 12 months old

A Grab ride from Orchard to River Valley came to $8.80, but the passenger paid the equivalent of less than $2 and rushed off, according to the driver.

The 60-year-old driver, who wanted to be known only as Mr Bala, says the man handed him $10, but it was a Hong Kong dollar note.

And that was worth only $1.78 in Singapore currency.

He didn’t suffer a loss though, because Grab quickly paid him the full amount.

Mr Bala had picked up the passenger from the Four Seasons Hotel on Friday (July 8). The man, about 1.7m tall, had opted to pay in cash.

But when they got to the destination, the man claimed he did not have any Singapore money on him.

He then took out the HK$10 note, told Mr Bala that it would cover the fare, and left.

While Mr Bala had his suspicions because the passenger had left in a hurry, he did not think too much about it, and went on to his next trip.

When he got home that night, he handed the HK$10 bill to his daughter.

And his 26-year-old daughter, who wanted to be known only as Ms Sarah, checked the currency conversion rates online and told him what it was worth.

She said her father seemed stunned and initially refused to believe it.

Then he had to sit down for a few minutes to digest the information.

“I was really hurt seeing him like that, especially as it was a long day for him,” Ms Sarah told TNP.

Her father had started driving around 5.30am that day, and got home just after 10pm.

True, it was not a large amount, but her father was upset that the passenger had apparently betrayed his trust by lying to him and cheating him of the fare. 

“I just broke, and told him that he didn’t deserve this,” she said. 

“He had just gone to work to try and earn a living, and this is what happened.”

From a screenshot she shared in a Tiktok video, it can be seen that $0.30 of the fee paid by the passenger is a service fee which goes to Grab, and that Grab had deducted another $1.70 from the driver’s earnings as its commission. 

So the driver paid a total of $2 to Grab, though he got only $1.78 from the passenger, thus incurring a loss of $0.22.

Mr Bala should have made $6.80 from the trip if he had been paid correctly. 


@sarahremix09 My dad got scammed... People like this still exist. pls don't. these hardworking people don't deserve it #fyp #grab #scammed ♬ Heartbeat (From "Kal Ho Naa Ho") (Instrumental) - Shankar Ehsaan Loy


Ms Sarah told TNP that they reported the incident to Grab at about 11am on Saturday.

The ride sharing platform responded within minutes, and reimbursed Mr Bala the full amount for the trip.

She said this was much faster than usual because the company had previously taken three to four days to respond to issues raised by her father.


@sarahremix09 UPDATE ON GRAB! Didn't expect this kind of overwhelming love from y'all, I just wanted to raise awareness on the struggles of Grab Drivers / riders ! but y'all so sweet ? my dad is shooked haha, he knew nothing about the post and he was really touched by all your kind words. Thank you @Grab Singapore for the fast response! kind acts makes the world a better place and TikTok is the best place that reflects that ! #fyp #scammed #grab #father #update #kindness ♬ original sound - hello4567


Grab could not immediately be reached for comment.

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