SINGAPORE – Thrice he topped up his card with $20 each time.
And thrice the money was deducted from his bank account but was not transferred to his ez-link card.
This despite the Add Value Machine showing the transactions to be successful.
It is not known how prevalent this problem is as Transitlink, which maintains the machines, declined to reveal figures on such failed transactions.
When train commuter Abdul Razak Subahan tried topping up his ez-link card via Nets last month, he found $20 deducted from his bank account. But it was not reflected in his card value.
It was only when Mr Abdul Razak used his card the next day that he realised the card’s value had not increased by $20.
He tried topping up the card again, but with the same result.
Frustrated, the freelance software programmer, 50, reported it to staff at Raffles Place MRT station.
After getting a bank statement proving $40 had been deducted from his bank account, he filled up a form seeking a refund.
On Dec 6, it happened a third time at Simei MRT station.
He said: “I told the station staff, ‘If the machine is faulty, please put up a sign, because a lot of people would also have this problem’,” said Mr Abdul Razak, who lives in Tampines and travels to Raffles Place to help out at his aunt’s business.
Station staff told him his experience was not unique.
MediaCorp sent Transitlink queries on Dec 9 and – in a reply two weeks later – a spokesperson said commuters might have removed their transit cards from the machines before the top-up value is properly encoded on the card.
The Transitlink spokesperson added: “Customers can check if the top-up amount is properly encoded by placing it on the reader again, and if the card value shown on the screen is correct, commuters can then remove their cards.”
Transitlink did not comment on whether it had encountered other complaints similar to Mr Abdul Razak’s.
When told of Transitlink’s explanation, Mr Abdul Razak said he had removed his card only after the machine had indicated the transaction was successful.
On Dec 23, Mr Abdul Razak received an SMS saying his refund was ready for collection at any ticketing office.