I thought I’d just purchase a single OPC just to try out the system and be familiar with it. It turned out to be a little tougher than I expected. Actually, locating the link to purchase the OPC e-coupon was a little bit of a hassle. Googling for “opc e-coupon” resulted in some forum links that spoke of how drivers can now be additionally “owned” if they think that no one is spying on them from a distance. There was even a pseudo-advertisement for recruitment of people to “catch” off-peak cars not paying for the e-coupon:
NEW JOB OFFERING
catch as many off-peak cars not paying for the e-coupon and get $50 for every car caught
requirements: good eyesight in fast changing environment, must be able to see the colour red and be able to “not appear like someone who is noting down number plate”
Oops! Sorry, I digressed. So, yes, I tried searching for links to purchase the OPC e-coupon and after a long, long while, I finally found the link. Embedded in a collapsed side-bar. Well, I was thinking that, for such an important (how important? probably worth S$10,000) link, it should at least be made readily clickable on the main page, even if they don’t want to make a huge banner for it. To be fair, they did make a banner for mobilep@y, but it’s of little consolation if I didn’t have my mobile phone with me. Or maybe I am just blind.
So, eventually I found the link, which was embedded under LTA e-Services; under the section of “Maintain A Vehicle”. Sure, it was classified correctly and most people would have lamented that I am just being lazy. Well, one thing I am sure, my dad will probably be calling me up when he realises that there’s “no link” for him to click on when all the only URL that was given to purchase the e-coupon is “http://www.onemotoring.com.sg”.
Unfortunately, this wasn’t the end of the entire debacle. LTA apparently asks for quite a fair bit of information (which I figure was probably for “security purposes”), and comparing this to the past when I could conveniently ask someone who happens to be going to the post office to help me get a paper coupon from SingPost, I now can’t ask someone to help me with the purchase of an e-coupon without giving him or her the full glory of my details should I, for some reasons, forget to get an e-coupon (e.g. rushing to the airport and realised that I forgot to purchase an e-coupon – only thing is probably that I am on my way on a 26-hour journey to New York and there’s no guarantee of Internet access at a stopover airport).
What I do appreciate, however, was that the entire process of purchasing the e-coupon, up to the point of payment, allowed me to change my mind and cancel the transaction, without fumbling and worrying it it had somehow magically deducted from my account without me know. Yes, some people may think this is funny, but many of the older folks, who have their income tax “deducted magically” from their accounts, or have “government surpluses” depositing back into the same account, will probably think that somehow, LTA can get hold of their $20 even if they are just half-way into the transaction. Moreover, I also believe that when I grow too old to catch up with technology, I will live with the delusion that I am constantly monitored 24/7… but that’s another story for another day.
Now, if you have not realised by now, payment for the OPC e-coupon can only be done if you have Internet banking services with either DBS, UOB or Citibank (TGFC!). Following the instructions, you can click on “Confirm Payment” and hope to pay for it smoothly; which was what I did. However, lo and behold, I was greeted with a new blank window, and a Citibank page that took some time to load, but stated “Please Proceed With Your Transactions”. The words weren’t clickable, so it would not bring me to another page to “proceed with my transactions”, nor where there other links and windows opened.
So, this sort of ended my experience with purchasing OPC e-coupon for my OPC. In the end, I called a cab, which I thought would be safer, since I am not sure that even if the transaction did apparently went through, would there have been another “Confirm” or “Proceed” button that I would have missed.
At the end of the day, I am suspecting that the use of Mac Safari must have had something to do with it. Apparently, one of the pages gave some information about added “Allowed Sites” into Internet Explorer; and while the one.motoring website mentioned that the pages are “best viewed with Internet Explorer”, it should really be “Can only be used with Internet Explorer”.