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Grab Philippines ‘never abandoned’ customer refund

GRAB Philippines said it had not abandoned its obligation to comply with the refund to passengers amid the recent announcement by the Philippine Competition Commission (PCC) of an additional P9-million fine due to delayed customer refunds.

“We never abandoned our obligation to return this P25.45 million [refund] to the affected passengers,” Grab Philippines Director for Public Affairs Sherielysse R. Bonifacio said in mixed English and Filipino as quoted in a statement on Tuesday.

The PCC announced on Monday that it had imposed a P9 million fine on Grab Philippines due to delayed customer refunds. The new fine is on top of the P63.7 million worth of penalties imposed on the company since it acquired the local operations of Uber in 2018.

According to Ms. Bonifacio, Grab Philippines has been working to implement the P6.66-million refund to users after the PCC issued a resolution mandating the transport company to complete the reimbursements worth P25.45 million.

She added that Grab Philippines has been in “constant communication” with the PCC and filed several motions asking for the competition watchdog’s guidance on returning the P6.66 million refund to Grab users after it had returned 73.8% or P18.78 million out of the P25.45 million overall refund.

“While Grab was studying the matter of the fines that had been levied by the PCC on top of the reimbursements it had originally ordered, the company is working on the implementation and will be ready to implement as early as Friday, beginning with the publication requirement of the PCC,” Ms. Bonifacio said.

Ms. Bonifacio said that Grab Philippines has encountered challenges in reimbursing the funds to customers who did not have GrabPay wallets or were no longer in the Philippines, particularly for users who used the application for trips taken between 2018 and 2019. — Revin Mikhael D. Ochave

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