The Great Touch 'n Go Swindle...

Not so long after our highway tolls became fully automated, Automologist MAC gets an unpleasant surprise.

So, Malaysia is looking to say farewell to all tollbooth workers and replace them with an automated system that is mostly okay. The trouble is it is not 100%. Regularly I find myself having to get out of the way of another driver as they try to reverse on the tollbooth lane because their card is not working, usually much to my personal displeasure.

So, imagine my astonishment when, horror of horrors, my card refused to work in the SmartTAG lane and the traffic built up behind, making me, I am sure, the brunt of numerous muttered curses. But I knew I had money on my card; just a few days earlier, on the weekend, I had “topped it up”. So I reversed from the booth, laterally traversed about eight lanes of traffic, thanking my lucky stars that it wasn’t that busy, to get to the one staffed booth. I protested that "there is money on my card", "why does it not work", only to be told that it was because the card was old and it had expired! What? A card that costs 10 ringgit (approx. US$2.50) has a life span? Where were the warnings that this was going to happen? Why was I not told or warned to replace it? What about the 30 ringgit balance on the card? Alas, the worker at the tollbooth could not answer my questions and I was directed to the Touch 'n Go counter hidden behind the toll offices. Here, it was explained to me that the card was old and I would have to PURCHASE a new one and go to Touch 'n Go Central (wherever that is) to get my refund.

The use of an automated payment scheme to collect tolls on the highways makes sense - it reduces costs and should increase efficiency. In fact, to use the highways in Malaysia, you sort of have to have a Touch 'n Go Card and there must be tens of millions in circulation. But what is quite absurd is that the public gets charged for the card. It is not a lot of money - a mere US$2.30 to purchase one - but do the Math; the total is a very large amount.

But here is the thing: in the first place, the card should be free to encourage us all to have them, but ignoring that, what a great way for Touch 'n Go to raise funds; all they have to do is cancel sufficient cards every year so we all have to pay another ten ringgit for a new card, not to mention the balance we will lose on the card as so many of us will not be bothered to go all the way to Touch 'n Go Central (wherever that is) to claim the balance on the card. So Touch 'n Go has just got 40 ringgit out of me for nothing....................Genius.


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  1. man that sucks! But what I know is that you can register your card to your id and in case it's stolen or lost etc. the TnG company will send a cheque with the balance in the card to you if you report it to them. Maybe you can register and see if they will send in a cheque for the balance to you.

  2. Almost every card has a lifespan, whats the big deal? was at lrt Subang earlier, and theyre giving away limited edition Grab Touch N Go card. On top of that, you get discounts for your grab rides. This is my fourth TnG. Built in TnG for my watsons, tesco clubcard, and my maybank zing. All free

  3. My family registered all our cards so that our balance is intact in case we hv to replace cards or lose them. And what tech or card lasts forever, millions of us just had to replace ATM/credit cards to get the latest version. Just register ur next card dude...

  4. I feel your pain, but do you know that MyKad can be used as TnG too? At least you won't have to worry about expiration date.

  5. My sister had the same problem and she went to TnG's customer service centre and the staff were very helpful. They replaced her card for free and transferred the balance from her old card to her new card. Maybe this could save that 40 Ringgit of yours.

  6. Not on TNG's side here mate, but seriously to accuse them of being swindlers is a bit much i reckon. Just because your card expired and you never bothered to register your account, is simply poor judgement on your part... shouldn't go around accusing others of being swindlers.

  7. i had my previous card for well over 10 years. unregistered card. it failed back in March. as long as you can provide the serial number of your card, you can transfer the balance to a new card. i had the receipt from the last couple of top-ups.

  8. On Nov 2016;auto top up of rm 300 (rm 301.59) done by zing. The in Dec 2016 balance of rm 2xx disappeared. Numerous emails sent to them. Successive jokers replied but not addressing issue with rm 2xx disappeared. They provided new card; but silent on missing rm 2xx. So, I say they are swindlers. Sorry but this is my experience......




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