Monday, May 2, 2011

SmartTAG is not smart

I have been using “SmartTAG” and “Touch ‘n Go” (TnG) since the day they were introduced more than a decade ago. I can vouch they are not that smart after all.

Yes they do splendid job moving users with ease at the busy toll plaza most of the time beating those who pay cash – that’s all both could do.

When first introduced it was quite a hassle purchasing them. Ahead in the market was the card “TnG” to be followed later by the gadget named “SmartTAG”. We had to filled lengthy personal details on a form detailing identity card number, address, telephone number among other things. Identity card (MyKad) has to be shown at the counter when submitting the form together with specific amount of payment.

It was a popular new gadget in the market and customers did not mind the submission. I thought it was really smart indeed. Was I disappointed to discover later that the purpose of the two gadgets was just to let me through the toll plazas without having to stop to pay cash and nothing else. Of course nowadays they have extended its usage like a credit or cash card and fare payment for the integrated public transport system.

It just happened once I misplaced my card and requested a replacement. I was told the company producing the card could not do it. I was wondering why took the trouble to take all the personal details to be placed in the computer system when they cannot disabled the missing or stolen card. The only solution, I have to go through the whole process again just to get a new “TnG” card.

This happen again years later when my car was broken into and the only thing missing was the “SmartTAG”.

I thought it was stupid to tell the girls at the counters the weakness of the system as so many had done. I voice my complain and argue with the counter girls to convey to the higher ups the weakness, if need be I am willing to write a report. After all there is nothing to worry as they are in possession of my complete personal details.

Of course at this time similar grouses began to surface in the media. At first there were denials from the company. Then they were silence as I assumed they realised the weakness of the system enabling the usage of both gadgets when they got stolen.

At first when users wanted to “top up” the card they have to produce their identity cards “for verification”. I thought that was silly as it serve no purpose due to what I have mentioned. So I informed the counter I am not producing my IC no matter what until they can guarantee that my stolen card could be block. I got my way of topping-up without producing my IC.

Nowadays I noticed they don’t demand for the IC to be produced when topping up. However one still has to fill the lengthy form to apply for a new one. The same procedures apply for the purchase of a “SmartTAG” but I got away with filling the form recently by telling the counter I could not see. I asked her to fill up details on MyKad which I handed to her and I by-pass so many other customers who were struggling with the form.

It just goes to proof that the SmartTAG and its partner “TnG” are not that smart after all.

I wish the tag and the card is much smarter like enabling the usage of stolen or lost card at the topping up stage at the counter, should it be difficult to do it at the toll plaza passage. This is greatly beneficial in crime preventing. It will assist the police and other authorities to catch or prevent the culprit from making a trade in stealing or breaking cars. I personally feel in this economic turn down it will ease my budget greatly.

I hope someone smart at the Touch ’n Go Sdn Bhd will take notice and action.

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