I have been a regular Grab and Uber rider in the past seven months. Prior to that, I was only booking Grab Taxi as I thought Grab Car was too expensive. I tried using Uber when they started accepting non-credit card users. I have been a loyal Uber rider since then.

I started booking Grab Car when I found out about their point system. Since then, I would juggle between these two, often picking the one that offers a lower rate. From my experience, Uber is cheaper 9 times out of 10. This is regardless of the time and location.

Here are my other observations:

– rates are often more expensive.
– no location pin!
– drivers are nearer, five minutes away at an average.

– fare is often cheaper.
– location pin is absolutely very helpful!
– allows business profile.
– drivers are often too far, 8-10 minutes away at an average recently.

So why am I choosing Grab over Uber? The 100 peso cancellation charge just sucks! Two weeks ago, I booked an Uber at around 3:15AM and the driver was just one block away. I’m not sure if it’s a glitch on the app, but the driver did not seem to be moving. I waited for 10 minutes and his position hasn’t changed. There is definitely no traffic in the area at 3AM. The fact that he’s not moving made me feel “unsafe” for some reason. Even if the app is not working, he should have already arrived in my location in less than 3 minutes.

My battery was running low, so I hastily went to Grab and booked another ride. The driver arrived in less than 5 minutes, while Uber still says the driver is 3 minutes away. It’s been like that for the past 15 minutes.

My mistake was not cancelling the Uber booking, and not contacting the driver. I arrived home with a dead phone. I charged it and went to bed.

I woke up at noon seeing the messages from the Uber driver, along with the app notification that I’ve been charged with 100 pesos. Looking at the timeline, the Uber driver arrived in my supposed pickup location after over an hour:

1 hour and 22 minutes travel time, for a distance of less than 500 meters, at 3-4 in the morning?

I reported this to Uber and I received the usual copy-pasted responses which I did not bother reading. I was a chat and email customer service support rep for three years, so I know a canned response when I see one. They knew I am not a happy customer, and may never book Uber again so they sent me back my 100 pesos as credits. I still went on and removed my credit and prepaid cards as form of payments, and ready to uninstall the app anytime.

We’re lucky that we have Grab as an alternative here in the Philippines. I don’t mind the higher rates, for as long as the rules are reasonable. In fact, I’ve already earned enough points to be a Platinum Grab member two months ago. On the other hand, until they fix their service, I hope I won’t have to use Uber ever again.