Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Touch n Go - why it is soooo bad

The credit card sized Touch n Go can be the perfect solution to all our ticketing troubles on KL's public transportation network.

But why doesn't everyone want to use it?

According to the Touch n Go website:

Customer needs to fill in an application form at Touch ‘n Go Sales counter. The card costs RM10 each and comes with a one-year warranty period.
(Ah. Look at that arrogance. One year warranty. If you read the Terms and Conditions, they will say that the card is the property of TnG or whoever. So if it is spoilt, they should replace it right? Even banks and credit card issuers do that!)

The card costs RM10 and you need to fill up a form. The RM10 isn't a deposit, by the way. The RM1o belongs to TnG rightafter. Why should users pay for this RM10?

Surely, they will say that it is a service, so it gives convenience to users etc. Bollocks. Some credit card companies can give out cards with no annual fees. Why can't TnG?

Once you reload the TnG, the credit is safeguarded by TnG. It's like a bank. You put money into the bank. But the bank compensates you for the loss of liquidity by offering you interest. Why can't TnG do that!?

Then there really is no other benefit from using TnG in terms of prices. Did you know that users of Singapore's EZLink and London's Oyster pay lower ticket prices that those who pay cash? Hell, many parking operators force a 10% surcharge for the use of TnG. Wtf. Where is the incentive for commuters?

Everywhere around the world, merchants and transport operators know that in the long run, it is more cost effective and customer friendly to use cashless systems. As I mentioned earlier, counting coins and notes and moving them to and from the bank is not a nice or safe thing to do. That's why although the payment systems operators (like Visa, Mastercard, MEPS, Oyster, EZLink) charge the merchants a commission, they realize the value in the service. Similarly, customers like to collecting points and the convenience of not having to touch icky yucky bank notes that were probably once handled by a butcher.

Also, Touch N Go isn't available systemwide. It is available on KTM Komuter, KL Monorail and parts of Rapid KL. Evidently, it is not always available on buses.

There are also the many reported cases of card readers at station barriers not always working. This means sometimes users are forced to pay penalty fares.

Credit decution is also hardly transparent. Displays on card readers at barriers are typically old, so users can't read how much is deducted on a journey. And worse still, many at times, the card readers don't make any beep. How would users know if the transaction went through? And how about itemized billing? Why do users have to pay extra for that?

Those are the complaints. In the next posts, we will see how other transport systems make it work, and how we can make KL's TnG work too.


Blogger bibliobibuli said...

sometimes you actually have to pay more when you use touch and go ... in the carpark at 1 utama for example it costs RM1.00 usually but RM1.10 with the card

where got logic???

i haven't got a card because i'm too lazy to go out of my way to look for a place that sells them and would probably only lose it anyway

12:42 PM  

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