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Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Gems down

Continuing the story of the URA reply.

So after some persuasions from friends, I shot another reply on 9 September 2009 to URA:

Dear Ms Wan,

I referred to your 4 similar email replies requesting for my personal particulars.

I reiterate I am not asking for a wavier for the notice. In fact, I have already made the payment.

I am asking for an explanation why the Certis Cisco officer did not book those vehicles that are parked illegally along Changi South that day.

If you are not in the dept responsible for this, please redirect accordingly.

And I got this reply. Finally a real reply. There are humans in URA after all!

We refer to your email.

As all feedback sent to the authorities from members of the public are viewed as official correspondences, we require members of the public to furnish their personal particulars like NRIC/Passport no., full name and address for us to authenticate and process their feedback.

We would appreciate your co-operation in furnishing your full particulars so that we can assess your case officially.

Yours sincerely
Lum Fong Teng (Ms)
For Deputy Superintendent
Car Parks Division
This reply is sent via email which requires no signature.

Exasperated that they keep harping over the personal details, I sent another email on 15 September:

Dear Ms Lum,
I have sent feedbacks to Npark, LTA, NEA and other government agencies and in all cases I have only provided my contact and none has asked for so much personal information which I feel is irrelevant. In any case, I have given my contact number which you can easily call to authenticate' the feedback.

Be that as it may, I do not think the URA is sincere in responding to this simple query of mine so I shall use other feedback channel to get a proper response.

And I reiterate again - I am not asking for a waiver of fine.

And geez, what do I get in return? Another automated reply:

Dear Sir/Madam,

Thank you for your email.

We will reply to your enquiries within 3 working days and appeals against parking offences within 10 working days. For further enquiries or clarifications, you may call our hotline number at 63293434.

Please do not reply to this message as it is a system-generated acknowledgment.

Yours Faithfully,

Car Parks Division
Urban Redevelopment Authority
45, Maxwell Road, The URA Centre
Singapore 069118

And of course there is no further reply.

On a related issue, I sent a feedback (a complaint) to M1 via their online feedback form more than 2 weeks ago. To date I have got no acknowledgment or reply.

Whilst the service level among sales and front line has improved, there is still a lot of room for improvement in the backend processes where the people can hide behind a cloak of IT maze. Maybe the people doing the GEMS Up thingy should look into this area?


  1. I can feel your frustration. It irks me when a company puts an email contact, but never bothers to check their inbox. And the 'robo-replies' of many agencies, originally intended to provide reassurance of receipt, need to be carefully managed so that it does not frustrate a customer even more.

    Having said that, there are a few gems of outstanding customer service every now and then, although these are still few and far between :(

  2. I know what you mean....take ages to respond to online enquiry but processed fast :(

    Same with credit card call 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 to speak to customer service. By the time press 5, line cut off GRRRRRrrrrrrrr ;(