Why GrabUnlimited subscriber was charged $3 more than regular user for food delivery fee: Grab

Grab has clarified why a man was quoted less in food delivery fees on its app than his wife, who is a GrabUnlimited subscriber.

The GrabUnlimited subscription plan, which costs $5.99 per month, allows users to enjoy special promos, extra discounts as well as "up to $3 off Food and Mart deliveries".

However, Facebook user Lim Qing Feng was puzzled when he and his wife tried to make the exact same GrabFood order from McDonald's Waterway Point.

Mr Lim said in a post on Monday (Mar 27): "...Realised that the delivery fee for normal user (myself) was $3.60 whereas for my wife who have subscribed to GrabUnlimited, it costs $6.60.

"Wonder why is there a discrepancy here?"

Mr Lim shared screenshots of his and his wife's orders with the same delivery address and at the same time on their respective devices.

His post has drawn almost 500 comments and over 1,600 shares.

In response to a Stomp query, Grab attributed the discrepancy to market conditions and its system's cache.

A Grab spokesman said on Wednesday: "Grab has always been committed to keeping our delivery fees fair for all parties who use our platform.

"We would like to assure consumers that Grab does not price discriminate between GrabUnlimited subscribers and non-subscribers. There are instances where subscribers experience lower delivery fees compared to non-subscribers and vice versa.

"In Mr Lim's case, the price difference is due to the different market conditions at the point he and his wife started browsing our app, and our system's cache.

"Our delivery fees are determined at the point a consumer starts browsing our app, and is based on real-time market conditions, such as the number of orders from consumers and the number of delivery partners available in a specific area. Hence, browsing the app at a different timing, even if just a few minutes apart, can result in a different delivery fee.

"This fee is then cached in our system for a short period of time. We do this to provide a good experience to our consumers who may take a while to finalise their order and would prefer to see the same delivery fee when they check out.

"Based on our checks, Mr Lim and his wife started browsing the app at two different times, which resulted in two different delivery fees being generated and cached all the way till the checkout page.

"The different features and mechanisms that we have put in place, such as the cached delivery fee, are meant to provide a good experience for all our users. We appreciate users’ feedback and will continue to look for more ways to improve their experience."

Mr Lim has since updated his post with Grab's response, adding: I'm guessing we should always order using the first device then.

"Anyway, we are going to unsubscribe (from GrabUnlimited)... doesn't feel worth it."