Consumer group rounds on BTS boss

Consumer group rounds on BTS boss

The comment by the Skytrain chairman that he should never have got involved with the commuter rail service was attacked as nonsensical. (File photo)
The comment by the Skytrain chairman that he should never have got involved with the commuter rail service was attacked as nonsensical. (File photo)

The Foundation for Consumers (FFC) has hit back at BTS Group Holdings Plc (BTSG) chairman Keeree Kanjanapas for saying he regretted investing in the Skytrain, which was beset by technical malfunctions last month leading to frequent delays and passenger congestion.

Mr Keeree made the remark during a remedial policy announcement for passengers affected by the malfunctions from June 25-27. He said when he made his decision to invest in the Skytrain "he was unaware of all the factors involved".

He added that had he known of the consequences, he would not have invested in the project.

FFC secretary-general Saree Aongsomwang said the BTS chief's comments "did not make sense" as BTSG is currently turning in profits.

"Their passenger numbers have soared, and they are gaining revenue from other operations, such as advertising," she said.

BTSG's annual report states it made over 4.4 billion baht in profit in the latest fiscal year, more than double what it made the previous year.

According to Ms Saree, "City Hall has basically allowed the Skytrain operator to do anything it wants," she said. "As the owner of these networks, it must monitor the processes of the train operator, including how the public will react to its remedial policy."

Mr Keeree has apologised for the inconvenience and announced new measures in case of further problems.

"We admit the latest malfunctions are severe. But do not hold the company responsible for everything. The Skytrain network isn't 100% investment worthy," Mr Keeree said.

He added that the malfunctions were "not anyone's fault", citing all parties involved had been performing their duties at the time of the incidents.


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