Thursday, 8 January 2009

How Stupid Do You Think I Am? No, Seriously...

I received this poster on the new EZLink card in an email today. In it, there was a proclamation that no deposit was necessary. Naturally, I thought to myself - huh, how could they sustain this without a card deposit in money-mad, errr... greedy, errr... profit-driven Singapore.

Then, on closer inspection, I discovered it was the TRAVEL DEPOSIT they were talking about. Ohhh... The $5 'cost-of-the-card' fee still applies but the $3 holding amount is no more? Good news then.

But what? I have to maintain a $3 minimum balance now? That means on the old card I can still travel with 10 cents' value but now I need $3.10 instead? So in effect, the $3 Travel Deposit STILL applies lah - it's just that it will be reflected in the actual stored value (ie. gives you the impression you have more money than you are actually allowed to use)...

So, basically, for the old card, you go to the counter, hand over $15 and receive your card with a stored value of $7, ALL of which you can use for travel. Now, for the new card, you go to the counter, hand over $15 and receive your card which SHOWS $10 but of which you can use only $7. The difference is whether you SEE the $3 Travel Deposit or not.

Sheesh! Come on EZLink, don't spin this as a gimmick. Just say it as it is - $3 Travel Deposit Now Changed To $3 Minimum Balance. Don't insult my intelligence with crap notices like these, ok?

But wait, there's more! (*like a late-night informercial*)

This $3 minimum balance only applies for MRT travel? The minimum balance for bus travel fluctuates depending on where I get on and where the service ends? Wow, this just gets better doesn't it.

Now, I would like to see how many commuters are going to be left stranded when they change buses only to discover that they don't have enough value left to take the next bus and continue on their journey...

Happy New Year Everyone

*This article has been quoted*



Anonymous Anonymous said...

They still think all Singaporeans are all stupid people, don't they?
whats new? want more money out of the peoples pocket again lah . . .

9 January 2009 11:27:00 GMT+08:00  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think u should send this to the st forum... It will be nice to see what they reply

9 January 2009 13:51:00 GMT+08:00  
Anonymous kelly said...


All smoke and screens! NOT very transparent isn't it?

It's a little like gassy drinks replaced with low sugar alternative. But guess what? The gassy drink is still with its toxic bubbles-inducing ingredients!

It just needs a little more observation and awareness to what's going on in your life and to the life of your nation as a whole.

Keep blogging!!

9 January 2009 13:56:00 GMT+08:00  
Blogger Ganga said...

Thanks for the comments guys/gals.

It's one thing to give BS over the big issues, but is it really necessary to 'talk-cock' on this? I don't think anyone would have bothered with the change, as it retains the same monetary value, more or less.

But to sugar-coat this merely administrative change shows the scant regard they give consumers - and that really irks me.

9 January 2009 14:36:00 GMT+08:00  
Blogger Loh Hon Chun said...

>>Minimum balance for bus varies

Wow! I wonder how many will be trapped in the "OH MY GOD! NOT ENOUGH MONEY" embarrassment on bus upon alighting.


9 January 2009 17:32:00 GMT+08:00  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

If more than a few commuters get into a fix while taking buses, they will suggest increasing the minimun balance to $5.
Commuters have no rights, choices or alternatives. You know their style.

9 January 2009 18:02:00 GMT+08:00  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Unfortunately, most Singaporeans are stupid. If not, how would they have kept the system long enuff for it to rear its ugly head now?

9 January 2009 22:06:00 GMT+08:00  
Blogger PRAY,IT WORKS. joe's blog said...

IF singaporeans are NOT stupid they would have a credible opposition in parliament today. Right now PM lee says, singaporeans DO. How stupid can you get?

9 January 2009 22:16:00 GMT+08:00  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Blarday PAP. MP never suffer. Disconnect with society. PM earning $$ like nobody biz. They think they what? God? Oooh please... :P

10 January 2009 00:12:00 GMT+08:00  
Anonymous sgcynic said...


10 January 2009 03:52:00 GMT+08:00  
Blogger Loh Hon Chun said...

Anyone knows the below?

Original EZLink

- What is the deposit value? And is this redundable?
- How much is the card? And is this redundable?

New EZLink

- What will happen if minimum balance is not enough to pay for a bus ride? Commuter pay the balance or pay full amount and get the tap in reversed?
- How much is the card? And is this redundable?

Thanks a lot.


11 January 2009 09:52:00 GMT+08:00  
Blogger Ganga said...

Old Card
Deposit Value = $3 (refundable)
Card Value = $5 (non-refundable)

New Card
Deposit Value = Minimum Balance = $3 (refundable)
Card Value = $5 (non-refundable)

Minimum Balance = enough to cover the trip fare from the point taken to the end of the bus route (even if dropping within the next 2 stops)

If minimum balance is not enough, no payment will be registered and I understand that cash payment has to be made.

11 January 2009 10:05:00 GMT+08:00  
Blogger Loh Hon Chun said...


Thanks for the reply.
Nothing really seems to have changed.

The only advantage of using the new card is for the support of CEPAS. Hong Kong octopus card is excellent and is very widely used throughout the whole country.


11 January 2009 10:11:00 GMT+08:00  
Blogger Loh Hon Chun said...

Since both cards are having the same card value of $5, that's the reason why they can say "1 for 1 exchange for FREE"!



11 January 2009 10:12:00 GMT+08:00  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


I really have a THUMB up for you.

Great to pick out this stupid statement. TO me, its similar to the $3 deposit also.

Added your blog inside my fav. I look forward for your next blog.

The public transport is NOT for the mass public. Its out to gain BIG money for the shareholder.



13 January 2009 12:49:00 GMT+08:00  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This also remind me of the old system of having to buy a S$60 for the CBD entry.

They abolished the system inoder to save cost of having ppl station at all entry point.

They came out with a smarter system call the famous "ERP" aka Every Road Pay.

End of the day its out to profit from the mass.


13 January 2009 13:03:00 GMT+08:00  
Blogger CNEIL said...

I wonder if the deposit was a liability. Imagine if one million people decided, for whatever reason, to get back their deposit. Do you really think SMRT has 3 million dollars sitting around waiting to be given back to customers?

17 January 2009 16:44:00 GMT+08:00  
Blogger Ganga said...

This is a good point. However, isn't it the same situation if one million passengers decided to return their cards and get their card balance of $3 refunded? Unless there is some fine print that says that the amount can only be transferred to another card.

One practical advantage for the company is that for the Travel Deposit, no matter what happens to the card, you can more or less claim it back. However, by including it into the stored value of the card, if the data gets erased or the card is physical damaged, the money may not necessarily be returned.

17 January 2009 18:11:00 GMT+08:00  
Blogger Ganga said...


Thank you so much for your kind compliments!

17 January 2009 18:11:00 GMT+08:00  
Blogger Loh Hon Chun said...

Where is the $3 million kept? It should not be the SMRT. It's kept by the LTA?


17 January 2009 18:14:00 GMT+08:00  
Blogger Ganga said...

I think should be EZLink Pte Ltd - subsidiary of LTA. As a private company, the deposit would be deemed to be with a firm and not the government...

17 January 2009 18:30:00 GMT+08:00  

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