Grab yet to refund P6 million to users – PCC
MANILA, Philippines — The Philippine Competition Commission (PCC) on Monday said that Grab Philippines has yet to refund around P6 million to some eligible users, owing to some limitations beyond the control of the ride-hailing company.
“Sometimes, the amounts are quite small, it might actually cost more to refund it than the actual amount of the refund. They have given their explanation and it is being reviewed by our adjudication office,” said PCC chair Michael Aguinaldo.
Aguinaldo stressed in a briefing in Quezon City that Grab had already paid more than 70 percent of the P19.3-million refund that the antitrust body ordered it to pay last year.
Aside from the amounts being too small, Aguinaldo said that some people eligible for the refunds also do not have Grab e-wallets where the refund could be sent.
“They cannot create a Grab wallet for you because you have to do it and they have know-your-customer requirements, like in a bank. They are trying to find a way how they can send a refund to these Grab customers if they don’t actually have the wallet,” the PCC official said.
Aguinaldo said that some of the people eligible for the refund have also left the Grab platform, meaning that the refund cannot be done through the channels in their platform.
He said that they have also considered if the PCC could just confiscate the amount, but admitted that there were issues on legality with such a move.
Pressed whether the PCC could just order Grab to equally disburse the refund to existing users, Aguinaldo did not rule out the thought but still cited potential problems with such a move.
“There could be questions about whether that’s actually a fair way to do it. But then, you also might be faced with a situation where there’s really no other way to do it, So we can’t really say,” Aguinaldo said.
To recall, the PCC ordered Grab Holdings, Inc. and MyTaxi.PH Inc. back in March of last year to pay the remaining P19.3 million to eligible users for violating its price monitoring commitment.
Grab has been penalized a total of P63.7 million since 2018 for this same violation.
It was ordered to refund P5.05 million in November 2019, P14.15 million in December 2019, and P6.25 million in October 2020.