Has errant Touch ‘n Go met its match in Domestic Trade Minister Salahuddin?

WILL Touch ‘n Go (TnG) which holds an absolute monopoly across the cashless national toll system be worried about the one-week ultimatum issued by Domestic Trade and Cost of Living Minister Datuk Seri Salahuddin Ayub yesterday (Jan 25) for it to come up with an action plan to address a slew of its service-related issues?

Or is this just another slap on the wrist for the wholly-owned subsidiary of CIMB Group who – to cite netizen Halibullah Majid on the “YourSay” section of Malaysiakini – “has monopoly on toll payments for almost 30 years, is utterly clueless and couldn’t care less about the daily hassles faced by drivers at the toll booths”?

“What’s so special about TnG that it needs to be given some time to improve its services?” berated the Malaysiakini subscriber following news report that the former has been asked to submit “scheduled report” to Salahuddin’s ministry on Jan 20.

“Getting through a toll booth in Malaysia is one of the most unpleasant daily struggles of motorists. Not only do we need to pay to use second-rate roads but also suffer the stress of getting stuck in jams at toll booths.”

Added Halibullah: “Just go to various other countries, you don’t ever stop to pay tolls. Domestic Trade and Cost of Living Minister DS Salahuddin Ayub needs to stop being a defender of TnG.”

In fact, the Amanah-Pakatan Harapan (PH) MP for Pulai has upped his ante against TnG yesterday (Jan 25) following a meeting between his ministry, TnG representatives, the Works Ministry and the Malaysian Highway Authority (LLM) where several pertinent issues were brought up.

Datuk Seri Salahuddin Ayub

Among the issues brought up during the meeting included the difficulty in obtaining TnG cards and Smart Tag devices on the market, the time taken to transfer previous balances into new TnG cards and the use of the TnG Visa debit card to pay for tolls.

In response, TnG has been instructed to implement several follow-up actions which include adding more sales points and advocating and notifying users on their card’s expiry dates. Moreover, the digital payment service provider has also been instructed to explain to users that its Visa TnG card is only meant for purchases, services and money withdrawals.

“The government recommends that the name of the Visa card be changed to not confuse users as the TnG brand is synonymous with toll payment,” Salahuddin pointed out in a statement.

It will be interesting to see if Salahuddin’s directive will be followed through by TnG with vigour in the name of providing quality service to its customers or to only fall on deaf ears which many Malaysian motorists can attest to since time immemorial.

“The endless complaints here are indicative of a company totally unfit to be given an absolute monopoly in the toll and parking sector,” lambasted another Malaysiakini subscriber Magnanimous46.

“In reality, this company is holding its customers to ransom by demanding that complaints, problems and services such as refunds and card renewal must only be made at its head office.”

Fellow Malaysiakini subscriber OCT shared his ordeal of wanting to buy a new “normal plain” TnG card at NU Sentral recently, only to be informed that such card was out of stock.

“The RM10 card has been out of stock everywhere and for a long time. This appears to be an outright ‘scam’, leaving purchasers without any option but to buy the special promotion card,” he berated.

“This is unfair marketing. It is a dirty trick. The rakyat has no evidence of empty stock of RM10. It is based on hearsay by them. The government must investigate Hobson’s choice. They know that when there is a choice of RM10 and RM25 cards, nobody will buy the RM25 cards.” – Jan 26, 2023

Subscribe and get top news delivered to your Inbox everyday for FREE