So, what is Xe om? Xe om is… [ Ok, just click the link].
I’m gonna write about the fight between Traditional Xe om. This fight has been existed for years, before Grab, we also had Uber, and now we have GoViet. This fight is not gonna end now. What made me decide to write about this today? Honestly, I don’t like the topic about economics although it’s my major. Let’s talk about my story today a little bit to know why I decided to write.
I didn’t even care about what happened in the Bike taxi market before. I chose whatever taxi that was cheap and suitable for my purse. Grab is number 1 for its convenient and customer services. Last week, I went to Hanoi for business, I booked a Grab. A young boy came to pick me up, he told me story about the fight between Grab and Xe om. A real fight, not economics, a fight by real fists. Xe om-s can punch and hit a Grab for picking up the customers. So he told me next time I wanted to catch a Grab, just stay away from the Xe om-s. No Grab biker wanted to be punched at their face for working. At that time I didn’t care much because it was good that I had my Grab. Today I went to Hanoi again. Just for the one who didn’t know, I stopped at Nuoc Ngam bus station and there were many Xe om-s there as usual. A Xe om can go inside the bus station to follow customers to ask if they wanted a Xe om. Outside of the bus station, there was a crowd of Xe om. There were many many Xe om-s there, and many of them had fake Grab helmet and coat to fool the old people that they were Grab bikers. I already booked a Grab when I was inside the bus. But then, bad things kept happening to me. At the bus door, a xe om saw me and tried to chase me. I ran to the gate to get away from him. Unlucky for me, I met another Xe om who grabbed my arm and asked me to use his service, I didn’t like any stranger to touch me without my permission so I continued to run. Suddenly the partner company called to ask about monthly report. I picked up. At that time, another Xe om ran and yelled at my face : ” NO GRAB FOR YOU”. Another Xe om grabbed my arm while I was trying to get out of the crowd full of Xe om-s trying to have customers. I looked at his face, the face I would never forget, it was full of anger and hatred . He was still grabbing my arm, suddenly he pushed me back and yelled : ” WHERE DO YOU THINK YOU’RE GOING?”. I was about to fall down and I was really scared. I screamed : ” WHAT THE HELL, WHAT THE HELL” . He kept pushing me back until I finally got out magically and ran so fast to another gate to meet my Grab bike. So, That was where my fight begun. I believe that GRAB IS WINNING now and I’m happy for that.
1- Customer services
I am a Vietnamese and I knew Xe om since I was a kid. Long time ago, when my phone was a Nokia which I could throw it at the head of people I hate like a brick, there was not a thing called Stupid phone like what we are using now. So there was not a thing called a app to book a bike or a car. We had Xe om, some kind of bike – taxi to bring us everywhere with cheaper price than a cab. I studied far away from home so I had to go to the bus station to catch a bus to go home, from my apartment to the bus station, I would take a Xe om. At the bus station, Xe om paid for the securities and … [ No political, no mention] to have place to park and follow customers. I was there once when 2 Xe om-s fight to have me as a customer. I just asked the price and decided to choose the cheaper one. The more expensive ran right to the cheap one and sworn at him, called him the thief. They fought, punched each other in the faces. The result was I had to choose the expensive one because he won the fight. What a customer service! An experience was that if I went out of the bus station, and went far far away from them, I might find a cheap Xe om. But I was scared by the services, I decided to catch the bus. Sometimes it took like forever to have a bus because of the traffic jam but I didn’t mind. It was cheap, it was convenient and it was safe. But sometimes a Xe om ran by just to yell at my face that I was a little cheap bitch [ Just because I didn’t use their services]. What a customer service ! A Xe om never said ” Thank you”, they always yell, grab people and fight. Why did they think that they would make a good customer service by acting like that? They are full of anger and hatred. There is no one to report their bad behaviors because all Xe om-s are working by themselves and for themselves only. People have a scooter, they have no other way to make money so they use their scooter to be a Xe om.
A Grab bike is fully different. A Grab can be anyone, a student, a full-time Grab or someone just have too many free time, etc. Every Grab I met, they always said “Thank you” even if they received a really small amount of money. A Grab once told me : ” You know we never fight because we don’t have time for that. Customers book on the app continuously and there’s no way a single Grab can accept all of their bookings. We are very busy”. Should we be happy when we received a call to ask where we are, and then a grab come and tell ” Please put on the helmet” and finally “Thank you for using our service?
Who is winning this? Xe om-s tell the result themselves when they fake Grab. If they were so good, they wouldn’t have to fake anyone. To recognize who is a real Grab : A real Grab always has a bag to put their phone and charge inside. And remember always use the app to book a bike. [ A Xe om was shocked by the fact that my mom, a 60+ year old lady, used her Samsung Note FE to book a Grab and She was not fooled by any Xe om]. A customer has their full rights to choose what is best for them and protect their benefits.
A price for Xe om is always so high from the beginning. They are continuing to raise the price as the result of raising in gasoline price and whatever price. However I never saw they reduced price when the government reduced gasoline price. Their price continues to go up up up like a super push-up bra. Sometimes I wonder if it takes that much gasoline to drive ? For example, from my apartment to the bus station, it’s about 8km. The price to catch a xe om was from 80.000 – 100.000 VND. The price of gasoline today is 18.600 VND. It means that it cost about 5 liters of gasoline to go 8km. It sounds like something are wrong here. I have a scooter which can contain 6 liters of gasoline and I use it for 1 week and 3 days from home to work and back = 4km * 10 = 40km. So there’s no way that it takes 5 liters of gasoline to go 8km. It was way tooo expensive for whatever they offer, safety or services. Each Xe om gives different price [ Don’t try to ask like me or they will punch you ] and you have to use all your abilities to reduce their price to their suitable price which is still very high.
A Grab is different. Right after you choose your destination, they tell you the price. If you accept it, you Book it. Easy? They also provide promotion code almost everyday. Sometimes I go for 10km with the price of 10.000 VND which is less than a liter of gasoline. Good service, good price. Who doesn’t like it?
So, who is winning this fight? Using only price in this competition, Grab totally wins. With the price = 1/10 or 1/2 price of Xe om, which service will you choose? Obviously everyone likes cheap things with high quality.
What century are we living in? This is the century of hi-tech. Most people have stupid phones with 4G or 5G. Why should we use something old and expensive instead of using convenient new things with suitable price? We access an app, we book a service, bike or delivery, we sit in a cool room, count from 1 to 10, receive a phone call and everything is done. Or would you prefer to go outside the road in the middle of summer [ >30 Degree Celsius ] or in the middle of winter [ <5 Degree Celsius] , call a Xe om, ask for price, try to low it down? We have technology, we should use it effectively.
Who is winning this fight? Hi-tech or no-tech. I bet you all know the answer.
So for me, in the middle of this cold winter, I don’t like to be pushed or yelled at my face. I like some polite service because I deserve it.
GRAB, you have 1 vote from me. Keep doing your job well !