Saturday, May 02, 2009

Last Exam Paper Saga

To celebrate my last exam paper, I had to take a cab to school, in style. In response, this was what I did...
Dear Sir/Madam,

I am writing in to express my monetary loss and displeasure in the way the SMRT bus employees have handled a situation that occurred on 2 June 2009, at 7.25am. I boarded bus 855 from Yishun Bus Interchange at about 7.15am. At the first bus stop near to Yishun Town Park, an accident happened. A man was hit by a part of the bus on his forehead as he was standing at the yellow line of the bus stop. At first I was oblivious to the incident until the bus driver came to the back of the bus to check if the man was alright. The man said yes, yet the driver insisted on informing her supervisor about the matter, which I felt was the right thing to do.

However, what she did not do, was to address the passengers on the bus and to inform us the duration of the wait. Since I reckon that the wait would take less than 5 minutes, I decided to wait. When the "supervisors" arrived, all they did was to stand around, speak to the bus driver, and left us - the passengers - stranded in the bus, with no idea what was going to happen next. After a 10-minute wait, without any address or apology, the "supervisor" gave us complimentary tickets. I asked if he was arranging another bus for us, he bluntly answered no, and said we could use the tickets to take any other buses we want.

In a situation like this, what the "supervisors" could have done was to immediately arrange another bus for us. Having waited for 15 minutes for the bus, I have allocated sufficient time to reach my destination. However, if I were to wait for the next bus, with 855's frequency of 15 to 20 minutes, I would have been late for my appointment. Or if I could have taken another bus service, I would. As such, I had to take a taxi to my destination, costing me S$16.60, 10 times the amount compated to taking the bus. Alternatively, the "supervisors" could have brought the man to a clinic nearby, and allow the driver to drive off, and allow the driver to only report the incident after she has completed her bus route. I am sure the driver would not run away.

I am extremely disappointed and unhappy with the way SMRT employees have handled the situation this morning. Your website states that "We [SMRT] closely monitor our services and in the event of service disruptions, take immediate actions such as replacement of buses or adjustment of timings. This is so as to minimise inconvenience to passengers." However, the poor handling of this situation is nowhere near what you have cited. It has caused great inconvenience to me and the other passengers.

Therefore, I suggest that SMRT sends all their employees and employees-to-be for training on "Dealing with Crises" to ensure that any unfortunate accidents that happen again can be dealt in a proper manner. I believe that it will also aid Singapore in dealing with the swine flu issues to come, and upgrade your employees' skills at the same time. Lastly, I would like you to get back to me on how SMRT will deal with this matter and any other similar matters to come in future.

I trust SMRT to be able to deal with this matter quickly, promptly and swiftly.

Yours Faithfully,
Esther Lim
A Member of the Public and a Frequent Passenger of SMRT Buses
A complaint letter to SMRT. Let's see how QUICKLY they will reply.