Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Power To The Consumer

One thing's for sure, ComfortDelgro directors won't be on Santa's list this year. The biggest cheer this season is that Singaporeans have awakened from their "daft" mode, and the boycott is on, with a vengeance.

Still in denial mode, the rapacious taxi company is assuring itself that demand will return to normal once commuters "get used to the new fares". There's no new normal for these villains, even as the cabbies have to bear with the consequences of their greed:
"When I drove past, they flagged for a cab from another company."
"I've earned  about 50 percent less today than I normally do."
"It's a very slow day for me and I hope business picks up soon."

A friend suggested checking with the retirees in the neighborhood who drive, if a ride to the airport is needed during this holiday season - let the senior citizens pocket the cab fare instead. Totally wicked!

The Public Transport Council reported that none of the other cab companies have yet to notify it about revising their fare structure. None except SMRT, the other government linked operator, that is. Come next Tuesday, SMRT will be following the ComfortDelgro template to a T. Now if that's not a clear case of price collusion, the Competition Commission of Singapore needs to take a second look at the law books.

We don't have a Ralph Nader to champion our cause, so the John Lennon lyrics will have to do:
Singing power to the people
Power to the people
Power to the people
Power to the people, right on


  1. Sori fo repitting tis!

    Who write the Laws,
    who can change the
    Laws in Sin?


    who to uphold JUSTICE
    in Sin???


  2. With the political clout NTUC commands, it will not be surprising if all taxi companies answer the call to hike their fares eventually. It is not difficult to speculate that smaller taxi companies may risk not having their taxi operating licences renew if they insist on keeping their fares low and profiting at the expense of NTUC's hubris. There is only make-believe free market in Singapore. There is serious problem when government hold stakes in businesses either directly or indirectly.

  3. The lower mortals pledge to build a democratic society based on justice and equality...when higher mortals view that only an aspiration will uphold justice?


  4. The taxi oligarchy in S'pore is effectively a duopoly with ComfortDelgro and SMRT. As long as these 2 bigger taxi operators increase their fares, the rest will have to follow. Otherwise their drivers will simply jump ship to Comfort, SMRT and whichever company that has increased fares.

    People take taxis becoz they price convenience & speed, or they need it for something important. Some marginal demand may be lost, but it will be insignificant to both taxi drivers and the companies. People simply will not keep standing at taxi stands letting 10 Comfort / SMRT taxis go by while waiting for a taxi with old fare structure. Or spend 40min on the phone trying to call a smaller taxi company.

    So end of the day, ALL taxi operators will increase their fares. Latest by mid-Jan before the peak rush for CNY shopping.

    And after all taxi companies have increased the fares, they will then declare increased taxi rentals. Most probably in March.

    Standard operating procedure that is known and accepted by all taxi companies, taxi associations, NTUC and govt.

  5. How long can the boycott go on before behaviors will return again? This is exactly what CDG & SMRT knows. Unless ALL Singaporeans boycott them over a long persistent period it will not hurt their pockets. And even assuming they do, the rest of Taxi companies will simply follow suit and we are all back to square 1 again. Either way, they win.

    This is the reality people. Until you fight for serious change, don't expect any small change. The # of taxi ratios : Passengers in Singapore vs other city is well known. Yet they choose to ignore the very fundamental issue. Why does it work for HKG (without complicated surcharges) & NOT singapore. It's all a distortion. Enough of naif people.

  6. Yet another sort of resigned, no-point-in-boycotting-them phenomenon we’ve seen before. And you asked why singaporeans always fall into this "victimhood" mentality. Who's the one creating and resulting in all these sense of helplessness? Wake up people! Do your really think you have REAL power? Do you seriously believe you are the MASTER? Or are you just happy sucker to fall for that simple gullible PR spinning.?

  7. If there were independent owner drivers, they will reatin the old proce and the government will be screwed. All this is the work of the devil Ah Lee

  8. http://popa-modelling.blogspot.com/2011/12/taxi-current-versus-revised-fare.html

    Someone has done a modeling. Everyone should vote with their feet (wherever possible). If taxi companies think they can survive on foreigners business, let them do it. Stop using taxi uncles as your playing chips. They can in turn go to their Unions and ask them to fight for their interest.

  9. With cost of COEs rising to unbearable levels, I suspect these taxi operators may have been thinking of ways to increase taxi rental charges to recover COE costs. But if they do so without increasing taxi fares, taxi drivers will be hopping mad especially when diesel costs are also on the rise.

    So what better way than to say it is for improving their taxi drivers' earnings, something that one would hardly expect a profit-oriented company would initiate ?

    So when things are back to normal and with earnings improved, wouldn't it be much easier to raise rental charges then ?

    Hope I am proven wrong in thinking that they may be manipulating the plight of taxi drivers via NTA for their own selfish gains.

  10. Get real pissed off with the poor quality of service everywhere in Singapore. When you need taxis, they're always never around. This doesn't make sense at all! When you're a service caterer, you should make it convenient for customers to obtain your services, not the other way round. The same thing also happens to the shops around my area. Shops open, go lunch break and close/rest almost at the same time. As they're offering a public service, am I too demanding if I request they operate at stagger hours or take turns to go for lunch break and rest? If clinics go for lunch break and rest at the same day, what if there are emergencies? This poor quality service somehow represents to me a real attitude problem ! People who do business expect customers to adjust to them ,dance to their tune, instead of them trying ways and means to be of convenience to customers. Is this simply due to the lack of competition or not enough of competition or some regulations that restrict greater competition? Take for example, past restriction on applicants to medical courses in the local university has resulted in the current shortage of doctors.

    As Customers, We Have The Right To Quality Services At Fair Prices! No Some Lame Excuses To Raise Prices Beforehand !

  11. The ket issue on this red dot is just one thing. It is the unaccountability and opaque of the current government. This is the government that is still enjoying power without the people consent on many stuff. Daft Sinkies deserve this.

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