The Taxi app wars are on in Bangkok and it is heating up with one player reported leaving or cutting operations back in SEA. Easy Taxi was a late player in the region and it paid the price but we will discuss Uber and Grab Taxi After going through 20 taxies and getting refused or taxies refusing the meter at all and charging up to 700 baht for a 70 baht trip it is no surprise why these apps took off in Bangkok
I have used both more then one year and neither have been without issue but both are way better then taking any chances with normal metered Taxis in Bangkok. The reason both apps are so important to me and others is simple, fair prices without fears for safety. I was attacked leaving Silom at 2 am one night for taking a picture of a metered taxis license to report him for refusing the fair The driver did not like this an ran around to force me out of his taxi, I jumped out trying to avoid being trapped and he drew a punch on me, I blocked his punch resulting in an injured thumb, it bent back from blocking him. Yes it could have ended much worse and by standers did the normal thing and ignored it all. After this I have never taken a normal taxi from the CBD and only have taken one 4 times from the Ladprao MRT and this has been over one year ago.
Now that you can see the importance of these apps for the safety of not only expats but locals alike lets talk about my experiences. Grab Taxi has great customer service and in the early days really out preformed Uber in every aspect you could think of when you compared Grab Car to Uber black . I have had a few issues with Grab but most where solved to my satisfaction thanks to their very nice Twitter support team I used Grab car mostly and it is most reliable. The bad with Grab car is that recently they recalculate how they figure their fees and it makes the price higher then Uber for the same cars and yes even the same drivers. Many Uber and Grab car drivers work for both so it sucks if you get the same bad diver that you have received on one app on the other but it can and will happen. some other issues with drivers is they may refuse to pick you up on correct side of the road and force you to walk across several have reported issues in getting Grab Taxi drives to accept but I have not had that issue in my area, when I am in the CBD I will use Grab Car or Uber. Grab has slightly better better customer service in my opinion but Uber has made big improvements on that over the last few months.
I have had a few more issues with Uber in the more distance past, Uber drivers demanding to take the highway at 2 am, etc. some issues are the same as Grab car drivers, they often want you to walk across the road but often fail to tell you this in communicating lately Uber has an issue with GPS and I have been charged 3 times now for tolls never taken. Uber reversed the charges within minutes from the time I informed them of this mistake but constantly having them fix this issue has become a bit annoying My big number one complaint with Uber is surge pricing, I view it no differently then a metered taxi driver asking for a higher fare for whatever reason and will avoid any surge pricing and praise Grab Car for not doing this. I must point out that my last Uber X driver was the best, he had water in the car, spoke good English. I forget how long it has been since I was offered water in an Uber black or Grab car premium
The bottom line is both choices are good but not perfect If compared to the Bangkok Taxi mafia they both are way better and with Uber X now the cost is equal to metered The taxis do not like either service and have been fighting back trying to get these services banned . lets keep are figures crossed that we all can continue to enjoy a much more safer ride in the future also