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On 28 May, RV Point, a condominium within the Robertson Quay neighbourhood, was the subject of online debate when the photograph of a notice at its premises was uploaded as part of a online forum thread titled ‘GPGT Condo Residents Ban Grabfood Riders from Taking Lift!‘. The A4-sized notice was addressed to delivery riders with the header ‘Residents’ Lift’ printed in a typeface similar to the Grab logo:
Here’s what the notice reads:
Dear Delivery Partners,
MCST 4370 and the residents of RV Point have kindly requested that GrabFood Delivery Partners refrain form using the lifts as it is only for residents of the building.
Please use the stairs.
We sincerely apologise for the inconvenience caused.
On reading the poster, most netizens initially assumed that it had been created by the management of RV Point condominium, which MCST 4370 refers to. The blacklash was swiftly aimed at Ocean IFM, the company responsible for managing RV Point, as well as the condo’s residents.
Prominent blogger Lee Kin Mun, popularly known as Mr. Brown, also chimed in with the following tweet:
Dear RV Point, please tell your residents to go out and buy your own damn food if you can’t even let delivery people take your Golden Royal Lifts.
Dear food delivery companies, please blacklist this condo from your platform. pic.twitter.com/e3TwWAS4o4
— mrbrown (@mrbrown) May 28, 2020
In their anger, netizens in general had made some assumptions, including:
Most had not known that RV Point is actually a mixed development with nine commercial units. The commercial units, which includes F&B establishments, are located on the first floor and basement of the building.
A few hours later, after the initial forum post had went viral, Ocean IFM responded on its Facebook page.
Here’s their response in full:
We refer to the circulation on the social media pertaining to one of the building managed by our firm that disallowed Delivery Personnel from using the Lift.
1. Delivery Personnel are still able to access the lift to deliver to the residents on the upper floor after their identify & purpose of visit is verified by the resident through the intercom system.
All Lift & Staircase access to the Respective Floors are secured and access granted only through use of Security Proximity Card or Intercom System.
2. The Poster was in fact prepared and put up by the Operator of the Grab Food Distribution Point situated at B1 of the Building and not the Building Management / Ocean IFM Pte Ltd.
In view of the huge increase in delivery volume, being a responsible & considerate occupier of the Building, the operator has put up the poster to advise their Delivery Partners to use the Staircase to access from L1 to B1 to avoid hogging or jamming the Lifts at B1 which affect users of the other floors.
3. We have since reached out to the said Operator of the Grab Food Distribution Point to remove and improve on their Poster to avoid any misunderstanding or confusion.
4. We also like to take this opportunity to urge all not to jump into conclusion before verifying the fact, especially during this period of time when all including our team members are also doing our best on the “front-line” to ensure that all buildings managed by our team are safe & operational for all our occupiers & residents.
Basically, Ocean IFM clarified that the notice was not created and put up by them, but by Grab at Basement 1 (B1) of the building.
The Facebook post also revealed that the “lifts” that the notice referred to were the ones that serviced only the first floor and B1—not the lifts that served the residential units.
Ocean IFM additionally stated that the intention of the notice was to prevent lift hogging due the “huge increase in delivery voume”, presumably referring to the circuit breaker period.
In the meantime, the company said that delivery riders are free to use the lifts that access the residential levels on the upper floors of RV Point. Access to the residential levels is controlled via an access card/intercom system, and delivery riders must ring the occupant of the unit and identify themselves before being allowed onto the respective floors.[Curious? Check out what RV Point homes on sale look like.]
Shortly after Ocean IFM said they would reach out to Grab, a Grab spokesperson issued the following response to further clarify the matter, revealing that the signage had initially been put up more a year ago (before Covid-19 turned more people into keyboard warriors):
“We wish to clarify that GrabFood delivery-partners who are delivering food to residents of RV Point Condominium are able to access the lifts and complete their deliveries.
“This signage, which was put up in March 2019 by the request of the condominium management committee, is meant to guide GrabFood delivery-partners who were picking up food orders from our GrabFood Hub located at Basement 1 of the building. Delivery-partners were requested to use the staircase when they travel between Basement 1 and Level 1.”
And to Grab’s credit, they admit that the notice may have been misleading and are looking to improve their communication to delivery riders.
“GrabFood delivery partners are aware of this signage and know that it is made in reference to the GrabFood Hub,” said the Grab spokesperson.
“The well-being of our users are important to us especially during this time.
“We will look into making these signs clearer in order to prevent further confusion on the matter and continue to work with all partners to ensure a good delivery experience for our delivery-partners and consumers.”
At the time of publication, the original poster of the forum thread has edited the initial post, apologising “for jumping the gun and causing members [of the forum] to react without first fully understanding the situation”.
The lesson? Don’t be too quick to point fingers!
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