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Unlucky guy took GrabHitch and got rude service and even attacked by the driver’s dog!

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Hello guys, I have a personal story to share with you. It’s an extremely important one if you are a frequent user of apps such as Grab or Uber.

On 25 December 2016, after my work had ended during my shift during X’mas eve, in the wee early morning of about 2am, I decided to take on Grabhitch (cos you know 50% off). Within minutes, my booking was accepted, and I received a call directly from the driver. But during the call, these were messages that he had conveyed to me:

1) Firstly, he does not know where Harbourfront Centre taxi stand is, and insisted that I walk to him. He was all the way at the other side of Vivocity (near to St James Powerhouse). Mind you, I have been on my feet for the past 9.5 hours. The thought of walking to St James from Harbourfront is clearly daunting to me at that point of time. Furthermore, isn’t it the driver’s responsibility to pick a passenger up straight from the stated pick up point?

2) Secondly, during the tele-conversation, he also mentioned that he is not driving the stated Mercedes-Benz car (plate number: SJV6527Z) in my booking screen. Instead, he was driving a silver Cheverolet. I didn’t think too much of it but I don’t think that’s the standard grab/uber practice? Correct me if I’m wrong.

Eventually, the driver and I decided to make a compromise, and picked me up at the bus stop in front of Vivocity, which is somewhat far from where I was. But I didn’t want to waste time further as I was so exhausted. As I walked to the car, I saw a dog, which initially I thought was a soft toy. As I got closer, I realised the driver had a REAL LIVING DOG (It was a small chihuahua as I got to know later) with him inside the car! While I was shocked, I didn’t want to kick up a fuss out of it. I really wanted to just get home.

Never in my life have I encountered a taxi/grab/uber driver that brought a dog along to pick up customers. I mean I know it’s Grabhitch but it is just plain unprofessional to do that. I know there are many animal lovers out there who wouldn’t mind this. But I thought it’s just very basic courtesy to at least inform your passenger especially with a muslim-sounding name if he might be okay with it?

So many lines crossed here; safety issues, health related issues, religious and cultural issues etc. Yes, I’m very much Muslim. However, at that point of time, I thought to myself that it’s just a dog, and the driver should probably have the dog well tamed to be comfortable with strangers. But I later realised that the driver is the one that needed taming.

I proceeded to open the back door of the vehicle to take a seat, but was welcomed with some rude remarks from the driver. His exact words,”Eh you no shame ah, not embarrassed ah? This is Grabhitch leh, not Grabcar you know!”. Of course, I was taken aback and was appalled at his comments and barbaric mannerisms of speaking to a customer, but I politely apologised and even sat at the front passenger seat, not wanting any unnecessary confrontation. He then placed dog was onto his lap, and covered it with a blanket.

Upon being seated, I then realised that the driver immediately ended the trip. How did I know this? There’s a notification each time my credit card has been charged via grab. How is this a problem? It is a problem of ethics because even before he delivered his service of completing the trip, I was charged a fee. In short, he was dishonest.

Throughout the entire trip, the driver didn’t stop being obnoxious. He lectured me about the ‘hitch culture’, and remained adamant about how he thought his way of “educating” me about the hitch culture was appropriate. He claimed that as passengers taking the Grabhitch option, it isn’t right to sit at the back and treat the owners of the car as our “cheapest drivers to get to our destination”.

He further said that he was “doing a service to the community by allowing people to sit in his car at a very small fee and helping people reach their destinations”. He added on saying that many people don’t want to perform Grabhitch because of people like me. Like seriously?!! If you want to really give a real hitchhiker’s ride, then don’t expect any payment at all maybe? I’m still paying for your service at the end of the day, so you don’t need to be all high and mighty about having to drive me to a destination which I paid for. And I’ve taken many rides from the Grab app before, and had no problem with me sitting at the passenger seat or the back of the car.

When I asked him if his dog is generally okay with strangers, he defensively lashed back at me and said,”My dog never disturb you, why you so concern about the dog?!! Whether my car got a roof or not, got aircon or not, it’s all not your concern what. Your only concern should be if you reach your destination at the cheapest rate.”. I just kept quiet throughout as I didn’t even want to begin any arguments whatsoever. He also began boasting about how he normally drives a Mercedes. Seriously, I do not care. All I wanted was to have a peaceful ride home!

There were other parts of his character that was utterly shitty, but I was too appalled by it that I couldn’t remember every single bullshit that came out of his mouth. As we were about to approach the carpark of my home, he asked if he could drop me before the gantry. As I was very tired physically and also with the driver, I agreed and he stopped at the block furthest from my home, even if by right he should have dropped me at my block. (It was an additional 5 minutes distance by foot.)

As I was trying to unbuckle the seat belt, the sound I made probably riddled the dog. The DOG THEN JUMPED AND BIT ME! Yes you read correctly, it actually bit me and left a wound on my right arm. The driver did not ordered it to bite me. But it seems a little plotted ah?

I immediately told the driver I’m leaving, opened the door and slammed it shut. He didn’t even apologised or offered to take a look at my arm. I walked away quickly as I wanted to get away from the possible danger – like getting mauled by a ferocious dog.

This all happened in the wee hours of Sunday morning after a tiring day at work. Like I said, all I wanted was to go home and get some sleep. And such luck had to strike me. Nevertheless, I have taken necessary steps to this whole issue and have approached the proper authorities.

The first thing I did was to call up Grab customer service hotline to explain the whole situation to them. They encouraged me to file for a police report, and have been very helpful throughout the whole process, although they mentioned that they are unable to divulge the driver’s details to me, or the other authorities.

I have gone to the doctor at NUH who was very caring and concern while I was consulted by her. She even ensured that I ascertain if the dog is approved by the authorities by allowing me to call the Grab customer service hotline in the room, and patiently waited before making a decision to give me a rabies shot or not. It was not administered as we found that the dog was certified healthy, according to the driver who admitted that there was his dog in his car but denied that it has bitten me. Come on la, the mark is on my arm already. Whatever it is, his pet has already caused harm and injury to me.

I have also gone to the police who have referred my case to Agri-food & Veterinary Authority of Singapore (AVA). Officers on both sides had handled the matter professionally and quickly. I even received a phone call from AVA the very afternoon, which was after Sunday and on Christmas.

All in all, everything is pretty much settled. I’m just left with updates so I can make a decision on my next steps. I am posting this so that you are aware of what you may get yourself into when travelling with a stranger, especially if you’re like me who love the convenience of these apps.

Ultimately, this is a story of how my $6 Grabhitch ride became into $123.40 matter as I had incurred $117.40 worth of medical bill, that included a tetanus shot and antibiotics. This story is very much real, and has happened to me. It is no joke. So please be safe.

P.S. Some of you may wonder why I didn’t take immediate action like calling the police at the scene, or at least take pictures of the owner and dog with the vehicle. Even my parents asked me.

Being in a dangerous position, all I could think of is getting myself out of that dangerous situation and far away from it. Imagine if I had confronted the driver in the car, he may have unleashed his dog on me, and may have been dead by then. If I had confronted the driver outside of the vehicle, he may have injured me or I may have injured him. Nobody knows what other implications could have occurred. At least, now I’ve done whatever I did to mitigate any further possible damage.

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H/T: Dan

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Bus driver has neck pain and did not doze off while driving: SBS

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A bus driver was recently filmed to be apparently dozing off at the wheel of his bus.

In the video, which was posted on 7 May (Monday), the driver’s neck could be seen moving haphazardly yet the bus was still in motion.

Photo Credit: Facebook

The passenger who was filming did nothing but record the driver. An act for which he was flamed for by Netizens.

Many felt that it was cruel to post a video like this and to risk the driver’s job when he was probably working overtime to feed his family and was probably exhausted.

Photo Credit: Facebook

Others felt that waking the driver up or holding a conversation with him to keep him awake would have been a more reasonable course of action rather then to film the incident and do nothing while there were serious safety risks.

Photo Credit: Facebook

However, shortly after the video went up, SBS released a statement on the driver explaining that the elderly man had neck problems but that it did not affect his driving in any way.

The spokesperson for SBS went on to say that the driver was very safe and cautious on the road and that he had been certified to be fit for driving by a doctor.

While the video seems to suggest that our bus captain was dozing off at the wheel, our findings based on the CCTV footage from the bus reveals that this was not the case.

Throughout the time he was on the road, the driver “kept to his lane, slowed down when approaching bus stops and also stopped safely behind other buses or vehicles,The driver also conducted a right turn safely during the trip.

All these would not have been possible had he been dozing off at the wheel … We assure our commuters that dozing off while driving is not something we take lightly and will not hesitate to take action against any bus captain found doing so.

Photo Credit: Facebook

The spokesperson also went on to say that the driver’s neck did bend more then usual due to his medical condition but that he was fit for driving.

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Singaporean woman loses 76,000 KrisFlyer miles, SIA investigating matter, suspects due to possible phishing

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Singapore Airlines said it's aware that some KrisFlyer member accounts "may have been compromised due to possible phishing".

Posted by Channel NewsAsia on Tuesday, 17 April 2018

 

On 15th April 2018, Sherie Low logged into her KrisFlyer account and to her horror, discovered that the bulk of her frequent flyer miles had been wiped out under the names of four Russian individuals who were completely unacquainted with her.

Only 769 miles were available out of the supposedly 76,769 miles she should have possessed.

The 34-year-old general manager said she first registered for an account on Singapore Airlines (SIA)’s frequent flyer programme 10 years ago. The last time she logged into her account to redeem miles was in mid-March 2018.

In the aftermath of her logging in, four redemptions were made for Lufthansa flights from Frankfurt, Germany to Saint Petersburg at 12,500 miles each, and another 26,000 miles were converted to points for Virgin Australia’s Velocity frequent flyer programme. This took place between 24th March 2018 and 25th Mar 2018,

The redemptions were made under the names of four individuals – Ms Kseniia Migel, Mrs Elena Migel, Mr Matvei Kotliar and Mr Andrei Migel who were all holding Russian passports. From the reflected account, all four had been added as nominees to Low’s account on 23rd March 2018, just a day before they started making redemptions.

KrisFlyer nominees are allowed to use a member’s miles to redeem tickets and flight upgrades.

Ms Low immediately dialed the KrisFlyer hotline upon seeing the suspicious transactions.

SIA’s representatives said they did not want to give her “false hope” that she would get her miles back and could not give her a deadline for the investigation, according to Low.

SIA further assured her that their investigation team would get back to her within 24 hours, but only called back the next day to “reiterate the same thing” which was that “they don’t want to give me false hope”, added Low.

Under her Facebook name Kiki Koh, Low posted an account of the alleged hack on SIA’s Facebook page.

Dear friends, please check your Krisflyer accounts. I believe the current system which is only secured with a 6 digit…

Posted by Kiki Koh on Tuesday, 17 April 2018

Quite nice and considerate of her to warn other potential victims, to be honest. Going public about her misfortune requires a big step and several contemplation, sometimes.

“As a Singaporean and a loyal supporter of SIA, although I could choose other loyalty programmes (for) my credit card miles, I always chose SIA,” she told Channel NewsAsia.

“But after this incident, probably I will look for an airline with a better security system.”

While there were alerts and notifications about the redemptions sent to an email address linked to Low’s Krisflyer account, Low said that the account is inactive and she did not check it.

Ms Low expressed that KrisFlyer should update its system security as members can log into their accounts using their membership account number and a six-digit PIN which is insufficient in the event of a cyber attack.

“At the very least it should be protected with a one-time password,” she said. “They cannot have such a flimsy system that allows hackers to get into accounts so easily and also add nominees so easily.”

Hello Team, On 22nd Feb, i reported theft of my krisflyer miles, but havent seen any concrete action(outcomes) yet, …

Posted by Abhishek Singh on Sunday, 25 February 2018

Another member of KrisFlyer recently posted on SIA’s Facebook page about an alleged theft of KrisFlyer miles. Abhishek Singh wrote that he had reported a theft of his miles three days before but had yet to receive any follow-up or concrete outcomes.

 

Responding to media queries, SIA said: “Singapore Airlines can confirm that we received this complaint from our KrisFlyer member regarding the loss of her KrisFlyer miles. We are currently investigating this issue and we will be following up with the customer directly.”

“Singapore Airlines is also aware that some KrisFlyer member accounts may have been compromised due to possible phishing. We are monitoring these accounts closely and will work with relevant authorities in their investigations, if required.”

“We have also reached out to the affected members and advised them to take various measures to prevent further phishing. These include using stronger passwords, changing their passwords regularly, using a reliable anti-virus programme and logging in to their KrisFlyer accounts only via the official SIA website at www.singaporeair.com.”

“Reports on phishing attacks have been on the rise in recent months. We would like to advise our customers to be wary of unsolicited emails, messages and phone calls that claim to be from Singapore Airlines,” the company said in the advisory.

We certainly hope that SIA can double up and solve the problem fast and professionally and take precautionary measures to prevent such a case from happening again!

 

Know of any other possible scams? Let us know in the comments section below!

 

Also, the latest scam you should be aware of is a scam involving hacked WhatsApp accounts.

Once scammers get hold of the SMS verification codes, victims would lose access to their WhatsApp accounts.

 

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BMW driver at heart of Caltex petrol story finally breaks his silence: Considers legal action

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The driver at the center of the viral $10 Caltex petrol story has finally broken his silence.

Photo Credit: Willie Kok

If you haven’t heard the story, a BMW driver went to a Caltex petrol station and was given a full tank of petrol. He later claimed at the cashier that he had only asked for $10 worth of petrol and made the elderly petrol attendant foot the bill for his $125 tank of petrol.

After days spent dealing with the fallout of the viral Facebook post as well as with netizens who have uncovered and posted a lot of his personal information, the driver finally speaks out.

Shin Min Daily News (SMDN) reported on 16 April that the BMW driver has lodged a police report because he fears for the safety of his young son.

SMDN had produced an article detailing an account of one of its writer’s who had go down to the BMW driver’s house. His address was uncovered by enraged netizens.

When the reporter first approached the house, they were told that no one by the driver’s name was home. However, neighbours and residents in the area reported that he did actually live there.

When the reporter returned to the driver’s home, they found police officers outside the door. Apparently, the family got scared, thinking the reporter was out to seek justice after reading the viral post.

However, the reporter still managed to get an interview with him.

The driver of the BMW claimed that he was trading his car in to a dealership in Jurong.  The $10 petrol was a simple amount to tide him over the journey from Tampines to Jurong.

The driver reported that he had asked for $10 worth of petrol and was shocked when the bill came at the cashier. He apparently asked if the extra petrol could be taken out.

The petrol attendant was called over and but he was adamant in his belief that the driver had indeed asked for a full tank and not for only $10 worth.

The exchange ended with the petrol attendant walking off in a huff and claiming that he would bear the cost of the extra petrol.

However, colleagues of the petrol attendant have come forth to say that during the last last 10 years, he had been nothing short of kind and gentle and that what the driver said was not possible.

They also claimed that the station was typically quite crowded and noisy and that miscommunication was very likely.

The BMW driver is now considering legal action. He claims that the post the woman put up on Facebook was defamatory and that as a man in sales, his business and reputation have taken a hit.

Currently, images revealing the driver’s mobile number and attempts to harass him have been circulating.

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