To whom it may concern,
I am writing in feedback to the behaviour of the overseer in charge of NSRCC Sea Sports Centre on the night of 23-24th January 2012.
My family has had a car parked in the premises of NSRCC Sea Sports Centre while patronizing NSRCC Resort on the evening of 23rd January 2012. Seeing that there’s a huge sign on the gate which read ‘open to the public’, as well acknowledging the carpark operates up to 12.30am, we made a plan to head home at approximately midnight.
When we returned to retrieve the car at 12.05am however, the gate to NSRCC Sea Sports Centre was locked. Attempts to contact anyone yielded no response (there was no direct contact on NSRCC’s website), and even the security guards on duty at the nearby NSRCC resort were unhelpful. Later on, a guy appeared from within NSRCC Sea Sports Centre (his exact designation is unknown – but he was the only person around at that time so we spoke to him) and we attempted to negotiate with him.
But he was adamant that he will not open the gate because it is “company policy”, that the carpark is only for the use of “customers only” and that we parked our car there at our own risk (well, this is true). Subsequently, he pointed at us directly and said “we wait for customers to leave before we close the gate (sic). You not within the area, so you not our customer (sic). So we close the gate. You want, you come back tomorrow.”
His tone to us certainly wasn’t polite, and we pointed out to him that closing the gate before 12.05am was not in line with the operation timings stated on the sign either – which was up to 12.30am.
He then pointed out a smaller sign further in from the gate which stated that the carpark was for the use of “customers only”, and even opening the gate to let my uncle walk in to take a look at it, with stern instructions that he’s not allowed to retrieve the car. (This smaller “customers only” sign was very much in contrast to the easily misunderstandable “open to the public” sign plastered on the gate.)
Further negotiations only resulted in him quoting “company policy” and “if you want, you come tomorrow and speak to my boss” repeatedly. And it cumulated in him requesting for us to pay him $50 to open the gate and retrieve the car, which we refused to pay. This is because (1) we don’t know who the money is going to – him? or the management? (2) there was no sign anywhere stating a fine of $50 to open the gate after operating hours (which technically, 12.05am is still WITHIN operating hours since the carpark only closes at 12.30am) and (3) it’s a matter of principle, isn’t it?
Let’s review the current situation, shall we?
It’s dead in the night, and our family needed to head back. We’re way out in a deserted area – next to the airport runway, by the beach – where hardly anyone passes. Far away from the reach of any form of public transport – be it buses, trains or taxis.
It wasn’t as if he didn’t have the key to open the gate. If he didn’t, we would have understood perfectly. But, he did. He even let my uncle in briefly to ‘review the “customers only” sign within the carpark but chased him out quickly after that.
Granted, we utilized the carpark of NSRCC Sea Sports Centre to patronize the NSRCC resort next door, and this guy wants to enforce this “company policy” so strictly largely to save his own ass from further trouble. Fine. But must a policy be enforced to the point where it endangers the very safety and well-being of the people affected?
In our case, we were lucky in the sense that we were accompanied by some other family members who had cars, and they could send the affected members to somewhere more accessible. However, what if it was a situation whereby it was just the affected people alone, unaccompanied? Who is going to account for them?
I await your response on this matter.
Brenda Nicole Tan
P/S: Apparently, no feedback email address exists for this place and I had to go through a traditional ol’ contact form.
What a bad end to our Chinese New Year celebrations.
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