WHY PAY A SURCHARGE?
ARMAN AHMAD cbt@nst. com. my
WHY do you have to pay a 10 per cent surcharge, or 20 sen, when you use the Touch ‘n Go card in many parking lots? This is the question that baffles consumers who use the card to pay for parking.
The cards are convenient to use. However, consumers may wonder why they have to pay more when the building operator is saving on costs like the printing of tickets and manpower required to handle cash transactions. Is a digital transaction so expensive that the consumer has to pay a surcharge?
Malaysian Muslim Consumers Association president Datuk Nadzim Johan said Touch ‘n Go should not allow operators to take advantage of consumers.
“Ten per cent is not a small amount of money. Even banks pay three to four per cent for fixed deposits.
“Touch ‘n Go should not allow these building owners to take advantage of the consumers.”
Even credit card providers did not allow operators to charge extra, he said.
“For example, companies like American Express will not allow additional charges by retailers, and if there are any, action will be taken,” he added.
Federation of Malaysian Consumers Associations president Datuk Marimuthu Nadason said Touch ‘n Go needed to improve its services and a body should be tasked with monitoring it, given that Touch ‘n Go was operating as a monopoly.
“Right now, ever yone is going cashless. If each person puts in RM200 at any one time, Touch ‘n Go will be holding RM200 million. Essentially, this is money given in advance without services (rendered).
“If you put it in the bank, you will get interest. They have a guaranteed business. They have to improve services at all locations.”
He added that the public also wanted value-added services from Touch ‘n Go.
“They have a monopoly, and there is no competition. They need to give the services to the public,” he said.
We contacted Touch N’ Go Sdn Bhd (TNGSB) to get a clarification on the charges.
A spokesperson said Touch ‘n Go charged 10 per cent, or 20 sen, as the standard surcharge by mutual agreement between Touch ‘n Go, the parking operator and building owner.
“The parking surcharge is standard at 10 per cent per transaction at all locations.
“There is an exception of 20 sen at selected sites depending on the mutuwith al agreement between TNGSB, the parking operator and building owner,” said Aina Abdullah, head of corporate sales, marketing and communication.
The 10 per cent or 20 sen surcharge was shared between the system owner and Touch ‘n Go, she said.
“Touch ‘n Go only gets a certain portion at settlement and processing fees. The additional charges served as service fee for the extra convenience offered when you park with Touch ‘n Go and also to cover the maintenance & system upgrades,” she added.
Aina added that currently, there were 180 parking sites with the Touch ‘n Go service.
Only 20 sites are without the surcharge.
“Over the years, TNGSB is progressively working towards implementing parking sites with no surcharge,” she added.