Recently, some Kopitiam food courts do not accept cash anymore at the food stalls. All purchases must be done via stored value cards issued by Kopitiam. I went to one Kopitiam food court recently and was told that I cannot pay by cash. Instead I must purchase a stored value card and pay using that card.
Well, I find this goes against the basic principle of buying and selling. For example, if I was to sell you an item for $2, is it right for me to ask you to pay me $5 of which I will keep the balance until you make your subsequent purchase(s) from me with small discounts thrown in and deduct accordingly thereon? I guess it wouldn't be an issue if both of us agree to the condition.
However, what if you do not agree even though there'll be future discounts? Of course, I have no right to force you as a consumer to part with more than the value of the current transaction. As a consumer, you could choose either to walk away or demand to pay the exact amount by cash on a single transaction basis.
Well, not with Kopitiam though. You could walk away, but not pay the exact amount by cash. Even SMRT and SBS Transit have the option to pay the exact amount on a per trip basis, albeit at a higher price. At least there is a choice still.
I believe there will be more disadvantages and inconveniences that the consumer has to bear because of this privately enforced ruling. You may share your views here.
Make no mistake here though - there is no issue whatsoever with the discounts or benefits offered by subscribing the stored value card. One should subcribe the card and enjoy the benefits if one prefers to do so.
However, my point is that a consumer cannot be forced into paying more up-front if he/she does not want to. There must be an option to pay the exact amount by cash on a single transaction basis.
What's your take on this?