Online ride-hailing firm Uber users in Nairobi and Mombasa can now breathe a sigh of relief after the company said on Monday that it will no longer be charging for cancelled trips.
Announcing the removal of the fees, Uber highlighted its focus on maintaining affordability and reliability.
“At Uber, we are always monitoring rider experience, market dynamics and fare structures to ensure our app continues to be a reliable and affordable option for you. With this in mind, we have removed all trip cancellation fees,” the company said.
“Please note this has been implemented across all our products in Nairobi and Mombasa,” it added.
The company usually charges a Sh150 cancellation fee depending on the reasons given as well as the party initiating the cancellation.
The cancellation fees were introduced to ensure drivers are fairly compensated for committing their time to a trip. For clients, the cancellation fee was automatically charged to their next trip.
If one cancels their trip more than five minutes after requesting it, Uber used to charge Sh150 cancellation fee that goes to compensate the driver.
Also, if the driver cancelled the trip more than 5 minutes after arriving at one’s pick-up location, one was still made pay them Sh150 for making the trip.
A section of users had long protested the charges, arguing that it was impractical, particularly in cases where the driver was to blame for the trip cancellation, such as when their arrival at the pick-up location was delayed.
Last month, drivers of ride-hailing firms Uber, Bolt and Little Cab vowed to switch off their apps if the operators fail to increase fares and commissions in the wake of increased fuel prices.
The operators say their take-home has reduced drastically and made it difficult for those with car loans to meet their daily needs and also keep up with repayments in an environment of static fares and commission.
Digital taxi drivers under their lobby—Digital Taxi Forum— had asked transport regulators to cap taxi-hailing service operators’ commissions at a maximum of five percent in proposals submitted to the Senate.