A Golden Arrow bus commuter, Mongezi Tom, 54, is in dispute with the transport giant over an extension of his missed rides has challenged the service to serve its customers. Picture: Mthuthuzeli Ntseku/Cape Argus
Cape Town - A Golden Arrow bus commuter in dispute with the transport giant over an extension of his missed rides has challenged the service to serve the interests of its customers.

Mongezi Tom, 54, from Philippi, an office assistant at a firm of attorneys in Cape Town, said he was admitted to hospital for two weeks between November 8 and 20 last year, missing a total of 18 journeys on a ticket which was to expire on December 15.

After being discharged from hospital a week before his ticket expired, Tom said he went to Arrowgate in Montana with the proof of his hospitalisation, requesting an extension of his missed journeys.

However, he was referred to number 5 of the Golden Arrow Bus Services (Gabs) Conditions of Carriage, which he said did not make specific provision of his case.

According to the clause, all tickets and concessionary tickets are sold on the express condition that unused portions cannot be refunded.

“I feel robbed and disappointed at their treatment of customers and I believe there are more customers who have experienced this. I didn’t ask for a refund, but an extension of my unused rides because I was hospitalised, something out of my control,” Tom said.

“Golden Arrow is taking advantage of the fact that most train commuters have resorted to using their services after the trains on the central line were suspended. The use of smartcards has compromised us, because the company previously afforded us such provisions when they made use of the clip cards,” he added.

Gabs spokesperson Bronwen Dyke-Beyer said the company’s policy did not allow for extension of rides.

“Golden Arrow sells various types of tickets. In creating these tickets, we have followed international practices in terms of expiry dates and these are therefore not unique to Golden Arrow.”

Dyke-Beyer said Gabs had two broad payment methods: a cash per single trip, or bulk buying in the form of a “heavily-discounted” multijourney weekly or monthly product. Multijourney products were not refundable and extensions were not available.

“Golden Arrow empathises with Mr Tom and his specific case; unfortunately our policy does not allow for extensions,” she said.

@Mtuzeli

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Cape Argus