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'Why are you so rude?' Former lawyer Samuel Seow claims PHV driver insulted him

'Why are you so rude?' Former lawyer Samuel Seow claims PHV driver insulted him
Grab has since suspended the driver that was involved.
PHOTO: Reuters file

An "errant" Grab driver who sped off while former lawyer Samuel Seow was opening the car door and then berated him has left him in shock. 

Seow tagged Grab in a Facebook post on Jan 4 detailing his experience with this Grab driver in Ubi.

He recounted that he ran across the road to get to the car and opened the door "like any normal person would".

The Grab driver then allegedly abruptly sped off while the door was still sliding open, almost dragging Seow along.

Seow immediately messaged the driver using Grab's chat function, asking why he drove off.

In response, the driver called Seow an idiot for trying to open an automatic door.

"You cannot wait ah? Open the door like you idiot," the driver said.

Seow explained in the chat with the driver that he did not know the door was automatic and asked if the driver really thought it was right to scold him for this.

The driver proceeded to berate Seow, asking if he would pay if he had spoiled the door, and accusing him of having a "lack of manners".

Seow was taken aback by the driver's tone and responded: "Why are you being so rude? I merely opened the door to a car!"

The ride was eventually cancelled, but Seow said that he was still charged the trip fare and a late fee of $3 despite being at the pick up location on time.

Same driver accepted booking again but went MIA

When Seow, 51, booked another ride to bring him to his destination in Paya Lebar, the same driver accepted the booking but never showed up.

Despite the driver being a no-show, Seow was charged the full amount for the ride.

"He took my job twice and charged twice when he didn’t finish any trip! And he charged me a late fee for the first trip also," Seow told AsiaOne.

Seow reposted his post to the Singapore Incidents Facebook group on Monday (Jan 15).

"I'm of course appalled at the driver's behaviour – and I'm even more worried about your fragile systems that would allow an errant driver to charge an innocent rider twice for a transaction he didn't even complete," Seow said while addressing Grab.

Driver given warning: Grab

Seow told AsiaOne that he contacted Grab on the day of the incident and received a response that evening.

In the response email from Grab seen by AsiaOne, the company said that the driver will be given a warning and a strike to his record.

The details of the incident were also forwarded to Grab's investigation team for further consideration.

Seow was then given a $3 'appeasement' voucher as a token of apology, which was added to his Grab account. The company also refunded the cost of both bookings and the late charge that Seow had incurred.

A representative from Grab also encouraged Seow to go see a doctor for any injury to his hand as they can claim the medical expenses from their insurance provider.

"So they’ve been quite good – except the $3 voucher as the first measure was quite measly," Seow said.

Seow added that while he was contemplating whether to lodge a police report a few days ago, he was informed by Grab that the driver in question had already been suspended.

Seow said he has decided not to proceed with the police report as he does not want to blow up the matter further. 

Driver suspended, says Grab

Responding to AsiaOne's queries, a Grab spokesperson said that they are sorry for the unpleasant encounter Seow experienced.

"The driver-partner's actions are not reflective of the vast majority of our partners who treat our users with respect. He has since been suspended for breaching our code of conduct," the spokesperson said.

"We have also refunded the passenger and offered our support through the Personal Accident Insurance."

Seow, a former lawyer, was disbarred in 2022 and had pleaded guilty that year to attacking two female employees, one of them being his niece. He was sentenced to four weeks in jail and fined $1,500 then.

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