Why are Singapore coach companies still imposing fuel charges?

I REFER to Ms Tan Lay Kuan’s complaint, ‘Fuel tax overstated by travel agency’ (Dec 20). I am sure there are many such instances.

When the oil price was high, I travelled to Genting Highlands and Cameron Highlands in Malaysia by coach and the fuel surcharge imposed was $20 per person. I did not object.

However, when I tried to book another trip to the same two places for the upcoming Chinese New Year period, I was asked to pay the same fuel surcharge. I refused and told the travel agents that this is absurd as the crude oil price is no longer US$140 per barrel.

Imagine how much these coach companies are profiting. Assume each coach company has 10 coaches with a seating capacity of 26 people each and each coach makes two trips a day. If each passenger pays $20, it adds up to an extra $10,400 for each coach company.

Dennis Lim

(Courtesy of Straits Times)

MY RESPONSE:

I agree that with his view that coach companies are being exploitive, and with Chinese New Year around the corner they will even try to squeeze more out of travellers.

Even airlines have either reduced or scrapped their fuel surcharges in the wake of plunging oil prices so travellers are justifiably outraged that coach companies continue to maintain the status quo.

Fortunately with greater frequency of flights to Malaysia by budget airlines, travellers need not be held ransom by unscrupulous tour companies. Another viable option is to take a coach or train from Johor Baru.

Only when their business is financially hurt will these irresponsible companies be more socially responsible.

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2 Responses to “Why are Singapore coach companies still imposing fuel charges?”

  1. They need the money to provide ANG POW for their workers during this season. But I think it is unfair. The overcharging is simply ridiculous! The Asian way of doing business. Make money first, don’t scared!

  2. A few days ago I checked out the tour companies at Golden Mile. All of them still continue to levy the fuel charge for bus trips to Malaysia and Thailand.

    CASE, our consumer rights protector, should do something about it. We should all write to CASE to press for action.

    Disappointingly CASE does not provide an e-mail contact for general complaints. If you know please inform me.


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