Take action

PUBLISHED : Monday, 01 August, 2005, 12:00am
UPDATED : Monday, 01 August, 2005, 12:00am

The column for anyone fed up with bureaucracy, frustrated with delays or furious with poor service. Tell us your complaint and we'll try to fix it ...

A Citybus stop was recently relocated to a spot opposite the South Island School (SIS), but instead of providing greater convenience, a reader warns it is creating a traffic trap because long sections of the road are fenced off and there is no pedestrian crossing, encouraging people to jaywalk to the new stop.

'The bus stop of Citybus route 41A - running from Wah Fu to North Point Pier - along Nam Fung Road was moved nearer to the SIS,' she wrote.

'It sounds good for the SIS students - as they can reach the bus stop by crossing the road - but that is not the case. It seems a trap for causing traffic accidents for SIS students and other pedestrians has been made.

'First, there is no appropriate pedestrian crossing facility such as a traffic light to accompany the relocation of the 41A bus stop. Second, both sides of the pedestrian walks along Nam Fung Road are fenced and there is no opening outside SIS or across from it.

'Hence, pedestrians tend to walk up the slope a little bit and jaywalk across Nam Fung Road.'

She says the school runs many activities in July and August.

After a Take Action inquiry, Citybus and the Transport Department said they would relocate the stop close to a pedestrian crossing about 80 metres from the school.

'We have liaised with the bus operator and requested that they relocate the bus stop (uphill bound) closer to the pedestrian crossing,' a department spokesman said.

'The relocation exercise is expected to be completed within two weeks. The signalised pedestrian crossing at Nam Fung Road is situated within 80 metres of the entrance to the school.' He said the railings there were necessary to prevent jaywalking.

Citybus said it was co-operating with the department.

Margaret Kong of Tsim Sha Tsui responded to a newspaper advertisement and paid for a $4,000 car-cleaning package from Wash & Wax. After she took back her Mercedes from its branch in Quarry Bay in late May, she noticed scratches and dirt on the steering wheel.

'We brought our car to Wash & Wax for car cleaning, waxing, steaming and leather cleaning and protection because of the interesting discount coupons in a newspaper. Our nightmare began,' she wrote.

'First, Wash & Wax advised me that we should not use the coupons because the waxing was not up to standard.

'If we wanted to get a good cleaning inside and outside, we needed three layers of wax, steam-cleaning inside plus leather cleaning and protection for around $1,000.

'Then, the guy sold me a $4,000 package for 18 months, assuring me that they were a reputable company.

'After getting the car back, I noticed a little dirt on the leather steering wheel.

'After a few days, I noticed the dirty spot became bigger and when I brought it back to Wash & Wax to complain, they said that it was a scratch. They tried to rub the steering wheel further and I noticed another small dot on the steering wheel next to the bigger scratch.'

However, the staff said it was not their responsibility once the car was returned to its owner.

'The fact is, my car is only two years old and we take very good care of it. We hardly use the car, it is accident-free and there were no scratches on the steering wheel,' she said.

'After I let Wash & Wax clean my car with leather protection, a scratch appears on my leather steering wheel. And then, they caused another small scratch right in front of me. We have tried to discuss the matter with them and with their supervisor a few times now. Someone from the company has called me twice to bring our car down to their premises in Quarry Bay so that a responsible person could discuss the matter with us.

'The first time we went there, the responsible person was not around. The second time, I called first before showing up and they told me the same thing: that the responsible person was not around. Then they put me on hold a few times. I don't expect this kind of unprofessional service from a reputable company.'

She is demanding a refund for the 18-month package even if the company refuses compensation for the damage.

After re-examining its records, Wash & Wax said it was not its responsibility to refund the alleged damages to the steering wheel, but that it would consider refunding part of the $4,000 package if Mrs Kong would file a formal request in writing.

A company officer said Mrs Kong's car was cleaned on May 31, but it did not receive any complaints until July 8.

'The time lapse was very long, so something could have happened between June and July,' a company officer said. 'A full refund is out of the question, but a percentage of the package may be refunded.'