Online Bike Taxi and Service: Is It Necessary To Complain?

A Text Message Full of Emotion from Grab Bike driver

In terms of error in service, we can divide customer into two groups: the complainer and the non-complainer. Most of the times, i am the latter. But today i made complaints and the reason is the text message above. It seems that the decision brought me to a feeling of regret.

This morning i was about to go to Matraman to accompany my friend doing a survey. I ordered Grab Bike because to me it's more convenient compared to Gojek in terms of their interface. After getting the notice that they have found a driver for me, i waited for the bike icon which shows the movement of the driver to move as usual, but it didn't. I was in a hurry, so after i waited for awhile and it didn't move at all i decided to cancel it and then reorder. it turned out that i got the same driver. The parameter icon didn't move again and then i got a call from the driver:

"What do you want? Are you just playing around or do you want to get picked up?" he said sounded angry. I explained to him that i wasn't having credit on my phone so i couldn't contact him.

My mom was sitting beside me so when she found out the driver was acting like that, she told me to cancel it again and let her order Uber for me instead. I agreed with her cause i find it scary having to deal with a driver who is being mad at me along the trip. Several minutes after i canceled the booking again, he texted me that.

My mom was at her limit and she asked the driver's number to me. She said she wanted to call and yell at him, which convinced me even more not to give it. My mom thinks that when we get bad service, we should complain so that it will not happen again to us or to other people, i get that but i don't think it can be done by yelling.

I don't think the driver would listen to me either if i tell him, lecture him about good service and how his behavior is a menace to his job. He would probably think i was threatening him. Then, i decided to send Grab a complaint letter. I hoped that the management will find a way to deal with the problem like giving workshop on soft skill for the drivers or asserting hospitality as the main quality a driver needs to have. This sounds naïve, i know.

Later on in the afternoon, i saw on Kompas that a Gojek user got threatened by a driver who got suspended because he got low rating on his service. It is kind of strange cause you can't actually rate canceled booking. Some comments on the news also said so and there's a comment saying that Gojek driver can't actually cancel booking.

But the thing is, that news made me question my decision to complain. Was complaining to the management a good decision? the best decision?

In terms of service matter, i guess it was. There are lots of service providers saying that "we value your complaints". Through reviewing customers' complaints, they can revise their system and performance and getting their service better which is the main thing about their business development. But in case of complaining about an individual's performance, by doing that small act to right the small wrong might impact something we didn't imagine in a bigger scale.

For example, getting someone else suspended. Bike taxi driver gets their money from orders, how do you think they are supposed to eat if they get suspended? And then the problems entail a pile of what-ifs like the driver's children life, etc (though they might only be possibilities, i think the decision should be made after assessing those possibilities).

It's true that the person who doesn't do well in performance needs to learn and one of our society's way to make someone learn is punishment but it might not be as effective as they think. Even, i think the punishment/represive system might only serve to make people think the wrong person gets the karma instead of the lesson learned.

I'm not saying that the complaint and suspension and system is bad. They function just fine for the sake of the business development. What i want to say is: we should think carefully before we make a complaint.

Taking this case as a lesson learned, i  am gathering questions to be asked to oneself when about to make complaints:

1. What is the importance of complaining?

You need to understand that complaint should lead to a better service, not getting someone who doesn't perform well a suffering you think he/she deserves. Don't make a complaint when you are being emotional. It might lead you to a biased judgment.

2. What will happen if i complain?

Think about the possibilities that might happen if you make complaint and ask yourself if you are okay with them. For example, the possibility of getting someone loses the job. If it's okay with you, it's fine. You are probably a person who values professionalism and there's nothing wrong about it.

3. What do i get if i complain?

Some restaurants give you vouchers if you complain. You might feel content getting someone who makes you suffer an awful disappointment the deserved karma. You might find the service getting better. If the reason is the latter, it is fine to make the complaint.

As a customer we have the right to complain but i think we must also remember that we are human who tolerates and rebels the system for the thing we think is a matter to complex to be judged by a certain system.

Contemplating Roppongi Hills

I don’t think we should try to make space our own. I believe that as modern people we should live in mobility. We should always be moving.” - Yamamoto Yohji


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