Ministry gets pat on the back from prepaid card users
by Peter Boon, firstname.lastname@example.org. Posted on September 21, 2012, Friday
SIBU: Prepaid card users are all for the Ministry of Domestic Trade, Cooperatives and Consumerism (MDTCC) to plug unscrupulous reload coupon agents from raking excessive profits.
The Borneo Post received numerous calls yesterday, including one from as far as Bintulu praising the ministry’s efforts in stamping out the unhealthy business practices that burden the people.
A second-year marketing undergraduate, who wanted to be known only as Justin, believed many people had suffered in silence and reluctantly tagged along with the tactic of these traders.
“Many of my friends had suffered similar fate as they were at the mercy of these operators. Each time, when we purchase a RM5 reload card, they would impose additional 50 sen.
“They would give all kinds of excuses and then, there were those who were so unfriendly when asked for explanation. As undergraduates, we have to be careful with our budget and certainly cannot afford a postpaid line.
“And so, prepaid services are the only way for us to stay in touch. As we reload quite often and are charged an additional 50 sen each time, it is quite taxing for us as students,” he bemoaned.
Had it not been for MDTCC, he opined they would still suffer silently. Justin lauded the crackdown as it prevented other traders from following suit to rake in more profits.
Another caller, surnamed Ting, lamented he had been charged more for prepaid cards on several occasions.
“Initially, I thought we have to pay extra if we buy from small time agents. They told me that they were making a shoestring margin, and hence, had to collect more from customers.
“Thanks to the prompt action of the ministry,” he said.
Meanwhile, following a public tip-off, a raiding party from the ministry sprang into action on Wednesday and nabbed an operator at a leading shopping mall for overpricing the RM5 reload card.
“Our uncover enforcement officers pounced on the operator as soon as he charged RM5.50 for a RM5 reload card. We confiscated two prepaid cards from the operation,” MDTCC Sibu chief Balraj Singh revealed.
Earlier, they nabbed a telecommunications shop operator in Mukah for the same offence, he said.
Students, housewives and rural folk are among those who frequently use prepaid cards because they cannot afford postpaid lines.