New Straits Times - - Cars Bikes & Trucks -

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.

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