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Sunday, March 12, 2017

Unfriendly URA website sends Len on a merry-go-round; then he discovers AXS

My friend, Leonard McCully, will not forget to display his parking coupon the next time he goes to Amoy Street.  He learnt his lesson after being given a runaround -- twice -- when he tried to pay a composition fine online.

Here's his story: "I foolishly parked at Amoy Street last Sunday (March 5) after church and failed to  display a parking coupon thinking it was free parking on Sundays. 

The attendant came and left a ticket on my car. No excuses, I should have put a coupon up.

Now the fun and games started. On the notice was the offer of composition at $30 and failure to pay within 7 days, the threat of an enhanced penalty would take place.

I went into the URA website  ura.sg/pf. Went through the steps and got absolutely stuck when the computer said my notice number was incorrect. Several reattempts and no joy. So I called the number given and got the runaround to go back to this unhelpful website. 

So I called the hotline and a nice fellow instructed me to try the website again in two days as their system may not have been updated. He said it usually took two days to enter the data. Hmm. Then why the threat of action after 7 days??, Why not 7+2 days??

Right, I waited three days to make sure and again I was given the runaround by this unhelpful website yet again. I waited another day and tried again and this was Thursday. My 7 days was fast expiring as I anticipated they don’t do any work on Saturday and Sunday. So on Friday I went back to the hotline and another nice fellow heard me out and suggested I get to an AXS machine to pay.

I found that rather inconvenient and said that there ought to be a more friendly way of doing things. Then he told me I could download the AXS application and do it from there. 

Eureka!! In 5 minutes I was done. Thirty dollars left my bank account and I was done. I guess I should have looked at the rear of the penalty notice and I would have spotted the AXS  pathway. Did you know you can pay for lots of stuff on this app.

But, my issue with URA, is that their main website should be working and for that matter, their data entry should also be more efficient in this day and age where their officers scoot around with cameras and electronic tablets that should be downloaded in a jiffy, instead of two working days. Where is this efficient Singapore we proudly tout?

Wasted a lot of time. If anything, this taught me to remember to put a coupon up the next time I go to Amoy Street."

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