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Taiwan may axe its e-toll collection firm over glitch
Publication Date : 11-01-2014
Transportation Minister Yeh Kuang-shih yesterday said that the Transportation Ministry will consider ending its contract with Far Eastern Electronic Toll Collection Co (FETC) if the eTag electronic toll collection system continues to falsely charge drivers.
The FETC has been under fire recently for the numerous complaints from drivers over the eTag system falsely charging them following the implementation of the new freeway toll system on 30 Dec 2013, which charges drivers based on the distances they travel on freeways.
Yeh said that even though the FETC agreed to improve the system, the ministry still hopes for a more stable and reliable toll system that drivers can depend on.
“I will be really upset if similar problems happen again before the end of this year,” said Yeh.
“If the FETC cannot prevent the issue of falsely charging drivers freeway toll fees, the ministry will consider ending the contract with the company,” said Yeh. “We do not exclude any punishments to the FETC if the system cannot be improved.”
Yeh said that the FETC is one of the most prominent companies in Taiwan, and the company should pay attention to its social image and responsibilities.
“The FETC cannot haggle over every issue with its customers,” said Yeh. “Instead, the company should use its corporate image to perform more social welfare projects.”
Yeh said that even though the FETC has promised to compensate drivers with double the amount they were falsely charged, the ministry still hopes for a better system instead of compensating drivers for any mistakes the system causes.
According to the National Freeway Bureau, the contract between the FETC and the bureau will end in 2025.
On Wednesday, Yeh demanded the FETC to compensate drivers whose freeway toll fees were falsely charged by the eTag system, but the FETC insisted on paying drivers back with the exact amount that they were falsely charged.
However, the FETC announced on Thursday that drivers can be compensated with double the amount that they were falsely charged, and this policy can be applied to those who were falsely charged from Jan. 2 to the end of this year.
No Personal Information Hacked: Yeh
Yeh yesterday said that no personal information of FETC customers was hacked in the recent hacking attempts.
Yeh said that the hacks targeted the FETC's webpage and caused some minor issues, but the database that contains many drivers' personal information was not affected by the cyber attacks.
“The FETC so far claimed that no personal information was leaked,” said Yeh.
According to Yeh, Chang has established a special team to inspect the FETC's database security again.
The Shilin District Prosecutors Office yesterday said that the hacking case has been transferred to prosecutors who are in charge of investigating cyber crimes, since the FETC corporate headquarters is located in Shilin District.