Monday, October 5, 2009

Ez-link Giro top-up - Part 10 (Online Only - Ez-Reload: Frustrated at every step)

Updated 03:00 PM Oct 05, 2009
Letter from Sean Tan

Picture is obtained from

Online Only - ez-Reload: Frustrated at every step

All those horrible experiences with ez-Reload are all true. I am one of those frustrated customers.

Many months ago, when the new ez-link cards were rolled out, I wanted to exchange my old card for the new one, but I was told that my card couldn't be exchanged as it was Giro-linked. If I'd wanted a new card, I'd have to buy a new one. For an exchange, I'd have to wait for a notification letter.

And so many months later, I received the letter, telling me that I have to exchange for the new card within two months, before my old card expired. That's really quite inconsiderate, I thought - not everyone passes by a ticket office often - people like me only pass by an MRT station during weekends.

Anyway I went to a ticket office to do the exchange on the next Saturday - naturally the queue was quite long. But after the long wait, I was told I couldn't get a new card because my card had just been topped up through Giro.

A card can only be exchanged when it hasn't been topped up in the last five days. I didn't remember this being communicated through the media or my notification letter. And seriously, how silly is this system to have such a restriction?

So I dutifully waited for five days and went to the ticket office again. This time, I was told that I'd have to reapply for the link to Giro (now known as ez-Reload) - all this while when I was waiting, I'd thought that they'd needed a longer time to prepare the system to convert our old Giro-linked cards automatically.

If I am getting a new card that is the same as the other non-Giro-linked cards and I have to reapply for the Giro link, why did I have to wait for so long?

Feeling really puzzled and grumpy (and not wanting to vent my frustrations on the person at the counter - after all, she's just an employee), I nonetheless applied for the ez-Reload on the spot, filled in the application form and chose the "reload" amount to be $50 - since there is going to be an administrative fee imposed on every reload, I thought I'd select a larger reload amount so that the card didn't need to be "reloaded" so often.

Another two weeks passed and I received a letter to tell me that my application was successful, and I have to go to a counter to "activate" the card before the ez-Reload starts to work. I was already quite perplexed by then.

Why did I have to go through so many steps to get my card working properly? Why couldn't they just send me a new properly Giro-linked EZ-Link card when even credit cards could be mailed directly to our house? They'd rather send all these silly letters to make me go to the ticket office?

Picture is obtained from
In any case, I'd decided to stomach all that since I seemed to be just one step away from getting my ez-Reload card. I noticed an error, however, on the letter - I had chosen the reload amount to be $50, but the letter stated it to be $30. So I went to the ticket office to "activate" my card and to tell them that there was a mistake.

Then I was told that the first Reload application would always be $30 (then why did I have to make an option on the application form?) and if I wanted the Reload amount to be $50, I'd have to cancel this application and reapply.

This was it. Spent the next five minutes lashing out on the person at the counter on the ridiculously silly ez-Reload system which is not easy at all. Then when I finally calmed myself down (realising the queue that I was holding up behind me), I told the lady that I was not reapplying and she should just activate my card at the reload amount of $30.

Then came the most exciting news of it all.

The ez-Link card number on the activation letter did not tally with my card, so she couldn't activate my card. The lady then asked if I possessed more than one EZ-Link card - I said I didn't, and she said there's nothing she could do. I'd have to call up the company if I want to get my ez-Reload.

I give up. I shall just top up my card manually.

Picture is obtained from