THE Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) has received a complaint from the Coalition for Filipino Commuters (CFC), which alleged that JoyRide operator We Move Things Philippines Inc. has been purportedly overcharging passengers.
In a letter of complaint addressed to LTFRB Chairman Teofilo E. Guadiz III, CFC Lead Convenor Ira Panganiban said the group is concerned about the “upfront tipping” feature in the JoyRide application for ride-hailing.
“It has come to our attention that the company has implemented an upfront tipping and gifting feature on their mobile app, which allows JoyRide drivers to select the highest bidder before they accept the booking. This is done in both car and motorcycle taxi services. This practice has a severe impact on commuters, particularly those who cannot afford to pay high upfront tips, as they are less likely to book a ride,” the letter read.
Panganiban added that the upfront payment is “[neither] included nor allowed in the LTFRB’s fare matrix for app-based ride-hailing services.”
“This feature was already penalized by the LTFRB last June 2022 and was disabled by [We Move Things] after several commuter complaints. In fact, the LTFRB deployed ‘mystery riders’ last year and ordered [We Move Things] to immediately remove this feature from their mobile app,” Panganiban said.
Calling the feature “immoral,” Panganiban said the CFC is disappointed that the feature is fostering ill behaviors for JoyRide drivers, citing complaints that the group has received.
“As a transportation and commuter advocate, I believe that this practice is a clear violation of the rights of commuters. Commuters should be able to book a ride without feeling pressured to pay an additional fee to secure a ride. The upfront tipping and gifting feature is discriminatory against those who cannot afford to pay high upfront tips, and it creates an unfair advantage for those who can. This illegal practice goes against the principle of fair and equal access to transportation services,” Panganiban said.
The CFC urged the LTFRB and the technical working group (TWG) on motorcycle taxis to “investigate this matter and put an end to this practice.”
“JoyRide should be held accountable for their actions and should be required to remove the upfront tipping and gifting feature from their mobile app,” the organization added.
Earlier this week, the LTFRB issued a statement that said it does not condone overcharging in the motorcycle taxi industry. It did not name, however, a particular transportation network company that it received complaints against.
“We do not and we will not tolerate any violation such as overcharging of fares within the public transportation system. The fare matrix was crafted to ensure that the fares charged by all public transport operators from commuters regardless of vehicle type are fair and equitable,” Guadiz said.