Many people never read this fine line behind the cards as many assume it's their own property.
If you read the back of the card.
"Use governed by Regulations and Published Conditions."
"This card shall be retained if it has been tampered with, MISUSED, replaced or refunded.
I think she'll get some good time in the women's prison. Unpardonable action. Good thing the bus captain was calm and not retaliate, even under the cover of self-defence, won't look good hitting a girl. Question is why no one from the bus stopped her when she assaulted the bus captain? Everyone just stood by to watch show.
Here's an extract of a series of letters published in the Straits Times Forum on this topic for reading:
Originally Posted by ST Forum 1 June 2007Originally Posted by ST Forum 14 June 2007I have emphasised some portions in the last letter.Originally Posted by ST Forum 21 June 2007
(cont'd from previous post)
Note that the first letter never states that SBS Transit and TransitLink's position is that the right of retention is statutory in nature. Transit Link is trying to do double talk but failed in the process.
The general public who may have misunderstood the officious sounding tone of the 1 June 2007 letter as meaning that they would face statutory or criminal liability if they do not comply with any demands to inspect or retain the ez-link card, when it was merely a contractual dispute.
Transit Link has tried to give the impression that it has an absolute right and that customers MUST produce the card, when it is in fact, just a mere contractual right. This is misleading to the public (as can be seen from this thread, where so many people think that they have no choice but to allow the bus driver to confiscate it- some in fact quote the EZ LINK T&C and think that contractual obligations MUST be followed no matter whether they are justified or not).
Ms Lau's 21 June 2007 letter states that "the ez-link card MUST be produced at any time for inspection" - this would be more correctly phrased as "the customer has a contractual obligation to produce the ez-link card at any time for inspection".
Any customer who is sure that he is free of fraud, tampering or using a stolen card, can decline production or retention of the card.
The bus captain will have no right to forcibly (whether physically or verbally) demand for production or confiscation - to do so would expose the bus captain and/or SBS Transit to possible criminal liability.
SBS's only right in such a situation, is to take the customer to court and sue for damages, incurring substantial legal costs in the process without clear prospect of quantifying any significant monetary damages.
By way of analogy, if A buys goods from B, and B inserts in his terms and conditions that if A doesn't pay, B will have the right to go into A's house and cart away his property. If indeed A does not pay, B does not yet have an absolute right to cart away A's possession. B will have to sue in a court of law to get judgement in his favour before he can enforce that term. If B does not, he may be liabile to A for housebreaking, burglary, robbery, theft etc. Why is this so? Because, A may have a legitimate reason for not paying (goods faulty, etc) and B does not have the right to enforce his term immediately.
In this case, (where A is the commuter and B is SBS/TransitLink) where A thinks that B has no right to confiscate the card because A knows the card is his - hence A is disputing the fact that SBS/TL has the right to enforce the term since the preconditions is not met. Hence, there is now a legal dispute on the contract. If B wants to enforce that right, he has to get a court to issue a judgement saying that he has the right to enforce his term against A.
If a bus driver forcibly tries to confiscate the card, or tries to snatch the card out of the customer's hands, or reaches in for the card inside the customer's wallet, or even retains the card after the customer said that he does not consent, the bus driver may be liable for the following offences:
If the overzealous bus driver tries to prevent someone from leaving the bus, he may be liable for:Originally Posted by Penal Code
Originally Posted by Penal Code
The terms and conditions are contractual civil rights. Every day, there are many many civil disputes where parties sue one another over disputes on how the terms should be read, or if in fact, there is a breach of the term, or whether the term is even valid/fair/enforceable in the first place.
Just because it is in a T&C doesn't automatically make it correct. What more, comitting criminal acts to enforce civil rights.
The reason why we ask is because there are many big companies and organisations who try to mislead people by giving half a story. As seen from above, the way TransitLink wrote its press release - I'm not surprised that many people think that they have no choice but to give it up. Even after some people have tried to poke holes at this "illusion", other people still think they have no choice.
I don't think we should ever follow what other people feed you blindly, go ask your own questions and find out for yourself, or engage in discussions of similar nature as this one.
Yes, it is but "company regulations" - whether or not it is legal is another question. We all know about company regulations that disallow photographers to take photos of publicly viewable buildings or shopfronts or other.
A company can come up with any regulations or policies it likes, but that does not make them valid, legal, or even correct. We have been fed with too much of "It is company policy" and nowadays, when that is said to Singaporeans, no one even stops to think and question whether the policy is even correct or validly enforceable.
I'm not quite sure myself whether the Police did in fact release such a press statement, but I think the following two letters published in the ST Forum would be useful reading for overzealous security guards detaining people:
Originally Posted by ST Forum 6 July 2007Originally Posted by ST Forum 12 July 2007
Originally Posted by Godzilla Invades
SBS/TL is a commercial entity, not a government body. The conferring of authority is only as good as the contract. The popular misconception is that once it is written on some paper/notice or captured in some T&C, you are automatically have no choice but to comply. If everyone thinks that way, there is no need for civil suits in courts anymore. Everyone can just enforce their contractual rights unilaterally.
Originally Posted by reachme2003
If you were referring to me (which I would appreciate a direct reference rather than "someone" for easier clarification), I just like to clarify that I am not doubting the authority conferred by TransitLink TO their bus captains. I am raising a possibility that a customer has an option to refuse to allow confiscation if indeed they think they are right to do so. See the analogy on defective goods and A & B above. If you are not referring to me, then just ignore this.
If at the end of the day, you still think SBS has the right to confiscate your card and you do not wish to explore the option of not allow confiscation when you know you are right, thats your choice. I am merely highlighting an additional option to those who may want to consider using it, rather than the more violent alternatives of wrestling with the bus captain or to fight with the bus captain.
There is a clear difference between a statutory right (e.g. something prescribed by statute such that if you do or don't do something, you are liable criminally) and a contractual right (where enforcement of such rights need to be done by the courts, and not unilaterally).
P.S. All of the above is merely my personal point of view for the purposes of discussion and sharing in this thread only - feel free to rebutt with substantive arguments or discussions if you have an alternative viewpoint.
Last edited by vince123123; 25th July 2007 at 06:25 PM.
Hi vince, have got a question for u. Let's say a bus captain requests a passenger to produce his/her EZlink card and the passenger refuses, can the bus captain legally refuse to let the passenger off the bus? If the bus captain refuses to let the passenger off the bus, can the passenger lodge a complain to the police?
I'm not really sure of the answer given the situation you have proposed.
However, lets say the person taps the card, and an error msg results. The person is 100% sure there it is his card, there's no fraud or tampering or stolen card situation.
The person can choose not to give the card to the bus captain. However, when we are talking about not being let off the bus, I think that to preempt presumptions of guilt (guilty people running away), the customer can offer to let the bus captain take down his particulars, so that TransitLink can sue the customer in a civil claim for breach of contract if it wants to.
Essentially, the customer is saying "hey I got nothing to hide, if you want to enforce your right, do it the proper way. here's my contact so you can serve me the writ if you want to"
If after this, the bus captain still tries to prevent him from leaving, then I think we are starting to go into the false imprisonment / wrongful confinement situation. In such a case, the customer can warn the bus driver of this, and if the bus driver still refuses, then the customer should call the police.
If the police arrives and finds that the customer is indeed innocent, then the customer now has the right to file a Magistrate's Complaint against the bus driver for wrongful confinement/restraint - and the tables are turned.
This is just my opinion.
This is probably my simplistic way of viewing things. Instead of demanding our own rights, we probably be better off exercising our responsibilities. If are no longer able to enjoy concessionary fares, we should pay adult fares.
The reaction of the girl and her friend is a definite sign of guilt. If they had not tried to beat the system, they would not have got themselves in that situation.
Maybe the bus driver could have asked the her to pay with another card or by cash. He doesn't really need follow the directives so strictly. (unless an expired card is logged and he is to produce the card at the end of the day.)
you are suppose to pay your bill on time...i always tell people its their responsibility to pay their bills...since they know its such a important thing...they suppose to pay on time mthly...there is no excuse on this...how to blame people on your own mistake...