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SimplyGo users face overcharging woes: Multiple charges caused by device switching

A commuter shares his experience with SimplyGo’s overcharging issue when using different devices. This glitch results in separate charges for each trip leg, causing potential double or triple fares.




SINGAPORE: Ernest Wee Wen Liang recently brought attention to an issue he faced with the SimplyGo payment system, as featured by The Straits Times on 15 February.

From his experience, Ernest emphasized the importance of addressing a lesser-known problem among SimplyGo users, highlighting the necessity of refining the system before it becomes the default method for public transport payments.

Amidst the growing public interest in SimplyGo, Ernest decided to download the SimplyGo app in January to keep track of his travel expenses.

However, what ensued left him grateful for unexpected reasons.

Upon reviewing his fare expenses from 20 January to 8 February, Ernest identified 19 instances where SimplyGo had overcharged him on his credit card.

The overcharges amounted to double or even triple the maximum fare, disregarding the distance-based fare principle and depending on the number of transport modes used.

This discovery alarmed Ernest, especially considering his years of using linked credit card payments for public transport fares.

The issue manifests during a trip when a different mobile device is used to pay for a fare, irrespective of whether the device is linked to the same credit card.

Consequently, alternating between devices within a single trip results in separate charges for each leg of the journey.

“So while the physical credit card or a linked iPhone or Apple Watch may all be valid payment modes, alternating between any of these modes within a single trip would result in separate charges for each leg of the trip,” said Ernest.

The problem arises because the fare reader is unable to determine the end-to-end origin and destination, leading to each leg being charged the maximum fare.

Ernest expressed frustration, stating that his only recourse is to write in and request reimbursement for the limited transactions he can access through the app.

Ernest believes that this issue may be affecting many other commuters and urges SimplyGo to address it promptly.

He points out that most commuters may assume that the mode of payment device should not impact the final fare, as long as it is linked to the same payment mode, such as the same credit card.

To prevent confusion and potential overcharging, commuters should either be explicitly informed about this issue or the device payment process should be made seamless.

Otherwise, this “bug” in the system has the potential to inflate costs for unsuspecting commuters.

SimplyGo clarifies mobile payment guidelines to avoid overcharges

However, it has come to light that SimplyGo has addressed this matter in their FAQ section.

According to SimplyGo’s explanation, users have the option to make transit payments using mobile payment methods, similar to the use of contactless bank cards.

The accepted mobile payment modes include Apple Pay, Fitbit Pay, Garmin Pay, Google Pay, and Samsung Pay.

However, NETSPay is not accepted in public transit.

To utilize mobile payments for transit, users can add a Mastercard or Visa bank card to any of the listed mobile payment modes and begin using it for transit services.

To ensure a seamless experience with mobile payments, SimplyGo advised users to adhere to the following guidelines:

1. Tap in and out using the same mobile payment mode and mobile device, with the same card.
2. Mixing cards, mobile wallets, or different mobile devices when tapping in and out may lead to multiple charges, even if the same payment card is linked to the mobile wallet and/or device.

For instance, if a commuter taps in with a mobile wallet linked to bank card A, they must tap out using the same mobile wallet and mobile device, both linked to bank card A, as illustrated by SimplyGo.

Failure to do so may result in separate transactions, leading to multiple charges.

Commuters in Singapore were previously mandated by the Land Transport Authority (LTA) to change to the Account-Based Transcation (ABT) SimplyGo cards by 1 June this year after its earlier announcement to phase out the EZ-Link cards and Nets Flashpay cards.

However, public outcry over the decision and the reluctance of many existing users of the Card-Based Transaction (CBT) cards compelled LTA to reverse its previous decision and allow the continued use of the CBT cards till 2030 at an estimated cost of S$40 million.

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Now that “SimplyGo” has turned into a scam. I expect it to be included into the numerous “beware of scam” posters that the SPF seems to have so much free time in pasting around the neighbourhood.

Ah yes, the ruling government will protect Singaporeans from scams. Because only the ruling government should be able to scam the gullible Cotton Sheep. Only in Uniquely Singapore~


That means true! It simply has to GOH

These woes must be indications of our monkeys developing their own so-called AI system. Better stick to writing parking apps (for which Ownself awarded Ownself with Ownself award), hor.

Just like POSB DBS … Dunno why cannot download statements … Why ah?!? Cannot allow public to double check ah?!?

Overcharging and charging maximum fare due to “glitches” is not a bug. It is an unintented “feature” that will NOT be FIXED as it is in the interests of the SimplyGo operator.

The only way to get it fixed is if Chee Hong Tat mandates that such errors will result in FREE trips to the commuter. This will only happen if Chee Hong Tat places commuters interests first and ahead of corporate interests. It also happens to be the RIGHT thing to do.

Why need to waste taxpayers’ monies to replace a working system with a system that has so much faults?